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Full text of "Letters from John Pintard to his daughter, Eliza Noel Pintard Davidson, 1816-1833"

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By Eliab Metcalf (1785-1834) 

From tlie original portrait in the possession of Philip T. Meredith, 

great-grandson of Mrs. Davidson 






In Four Volumes 






— -^ 





To Mrs. Richard Davidson (Eliza Noel Pintard) 
of New Orleans 

New York, 6*'* (Tuesday) Feb^ 1821 ^ 

It is many years, with the highest sense of gratitude 
to God for the mercy, since my having being [sic] re- 
stricted by indisposition to the house, as long since as 
when I informed you that I suffered with a smart attack 
of Fever for 3 days, I think in the spring of 1810. We 
have been smothered almost with a dense vaporing at- 
mosphere on the return of milder weather and I have 
added one cold to another in succession, which by going 
to the Savings B[an]k on Sat^ ev[enin]g it was increased 
to a violent catarrh. Sunday was another wet day, when 
prudence w[oul]d have dictated my staying home, but 
it was Sacrament Sunday, & tho Mama & Sister c[oul]d 
not go I thought it proper to attend. I remained home 
afterwards, but at night had a smart Fever, wh[ich] 
with my cold so stupified me yest^ that I c*^ do little 
more than discharge the duties of my office, & as before 
remarked continued within doors, all day. The weather 
cleared off yest[erda]y & has blown the humid clouds to 
the western isles & with them the seeds of my malady. 
If not perfectly as clear, I feel this morn^ almost as elas- 
tic as the genial westerly winds that wafted to sea yest^ 
a large fleet of vessels that had been a long time laiden 
& waiting for any oppo[rtunity] to sail. 

Thur^ 8*^ ... I hardly know how to communicate 
the following unpleasant rumor respecting a fallen Di- 
vine of eminent repute in the Presbyterian Church, the 
Rev. M"" Stansbury of Albany, a most eloquent preacher. 
He has fallen a dreadful sacrifice to the temptation of 

1 Pintard's letter of January 18, 1821 to Mrs. Davidson did not 
reach her. See his comment, post, under date of April 2, 1821. 



the Devil, another signal instance of the frailty of poor 
humanity, a reproach to his Church & denomination, and 
a disgrace to Xf. Like the late D"" How he has defiled his 
marriage bed, broken his vows to God & man & blasted 
in this world has destroyed the peace & happiness as 
well the means of supporting his Family. This unfortu- 
nate character, at the last Anniv[ersar]y meeting of the 
Am[erican] Bible So[ciety] made one of the most elo- 
quent speeches, delivered on the occasion. Alas! how 

Friday 9^^. Very mild weather. I hope before clos- 
ing this to announce the arrival of Cap* Holmes - with 
letters from my young correspondents. I am now en- 
gaged in preparing a plan for a Fuel Saving Fund, to be 
reported 21 inst., a subject of some detail. The main 
difficulty will be to enlist respectable characters to act 
as Trustees. 

Monday [February] 12*''. Dark Vapoury weactheir 
& very mild. M' Russel ^ informs me that as soon as it 
clears off he shall expect Cap* Holmes. I am gratified 
this morn^ by receipt of a short letter from my protege 
Midshipman Clinton, dated Rio De Janeiro, 25*'' Sept*. 
He has gone out in the Macedonian for the Pacific, & 
by this time has I hope arrived at Chili. He will make 
a very fine officer sh"^ his life be spared. Every letter 
gives evidence of his improvement & he has a sound 
mind & the heart of a Lion, & a well seasoned consti- 
tution to undergo the hardships of the life he has de- 
liberately chosen & resolutely adheres to, 

Wed^ 14*''. Avant dejeuner, as Ma'amselle Davidson 
veut dire. Taking up the morn^ papers I observe that 
Cap* Holmes has arrived in 15 days from N. 0. He has 
remarkable passages. ... I am pleased that you con- 
cur with me in the propriety of sending the boys to 

2 Silas Holmes (1785-1860), captain of the brig Phoehe Ann. In 1824 
he established the "Holmes Line" of packets to New Orleans. R. G. 
Albion, Square Riggers on Schedule (1938). 

" John W. Russell, owner of the Phoebe Ann, and operator of the 
"Old Line" to New Orleans. Ibid. 


French School this spring. . . . Six months & they will 
be able to converse if not accurately, tolerably easy, & 
this is the first, & too often insuperable difficulty, for 
as to reading a living language, it may do for the recluse 
stucdent] but unless one speaks French fluently, the awk- 
wardness of pronunciation forbids conversation, & thus 
the vocabulary of the language is soon lost. I know 
this from experience, for I believe that I have acquired 
& almost lost the French tongue, three or four times in 
my life, and from want of practice it is again & for the 
last time gradually fading away & I shall, having no 
cause, [njever be at the pains of recovering further than 
to serve the purpose of reading, for w^ I have but little 
other time than evening and my eyes begin to fail me 

Wedn'' 15 Feb^. It has cleared off dry tho' are [sic] 
streets w** were all afloat yest^ bear the aspect of winter. 
. . . There is little news of moment, none domestic ex- 
cept legislative where our Bucktails are dividing among 
them, at Albany, the Loaves & Fishes. All Gov"" Clin- 
tons will be displaced. Thank God I am out of the 
reach of party rage. The Spanish Treaty has arrived, w^ 
will I hope amicably adjust all our differences with that 
nation. The French Minister has also arrived & brings 
with him a settlement it is said of our commercial rela- 
tions with France, w*" must benefit N. Orleans. The Eu- 
ropean world tho' uneasy is too fatigued to renew wars. 
Those that expect to thrive on the miseries of their fel- 
low creatures will, for some time at least, be disap- 
pointed. . . . 

New York, Sat^ 17**^ Feb^ 1821 

We had yest'' a most furious snow storm from the 
N. E. w^ fell in flakes so damp & heavy as to adhere to 
[& e]ncrust the fronts of all the houses exposed to the 
Gale. It was a laborious task to shcut] my office front 
windows. The storm lasted from before day until mid- 


night & you mcay] judge of the depth when a man [h]as 
been steadily employed nearly 3 hours to clear the front 
walk. The weather prevented the discharge of the 
Pheobe Ann & this morn^ I went on board & brought up 
the Box of pecans, as Mama & Sister were certain that 
following her example the letters were in it, but that 
was not the case. . . . Notwithstanding the storm yest^, 
I performed a duty that I owed Mama & Sister viz im- 
portuning the most influential ocf m]y Directors * to as- 
semble and to dce]liberate on a long contemplated proj- 
ect, to allow me tco r]emove from Wall Street & grant 
cmoney] in lieu of rent. I was in treaty with M"" Rhine- 
lander, for a very fine 3 story house in [MS torn] Street, 
leading from the City Hca]ll to the No[rth] river, on w** 
Mama & Sister had set their hecarts beiing in ccompnlete 
repair & every way accomodating. The proposition I 
endeavoured to enforce in cthen spirit of accommoda- 
tion to an old & faithful servant & to afford him & family 
some comfort before he sh*^ leave this world. But with a 
sang froid that w*^ disgrace even our Council of Appoint- 
ment, they appointed a Committee to examine this old 
wr[ec]k of a house, some time next summer I presume, 
& to direct such repairs as w** keep it from tumbling 
about our ears, knowing that I was to give a prompt an- 
swer on Monday to M"" R. who stands ready to dispose 
of his house to another bidder. All domestic comfort 
was out of this view & hard as the rebuff was, to me it 
was anticipated, but it was a heartrending circumstance 
for dear Mama & Sister. . . . While my heart bleeds I 
bear a stoical indifference in face of my cold penurious 
& illiberal [directors] from whom, if death sh** be my 
portion, never, never will I humble myself to ask another 
favour. My worthy president M"" Furman plead in 
vain. I thank him. 

Monday 19*^ . . . Your dear Mother on Sat^ after- 
noon when I went to the Savings Bank, with her usual 
masculine resolution, wrote to some of my Directors, 
stating her wish, on Sister's account to remove whose 

* Of the Mutual Insurance Company. 


health suffers from being so much immured, from the 
dampness of our House & the excessive heat of our 
Chambers in Summer. But I am persuaded in vain, & I 
dread when I shall go up to dinner, once again to have 
to disappoint her expectations. She even waited on M"" 
Sherred between Churches, who is Chairman of the Com- 
mittee to determine the subject, who promised to meet 
this mocrningl It is now half past 12 & he has not con- 
descended to come. My president M"" Furman candidly 
says that they will not accord with my wishes. They 
will repair as suits them, but if we do not like to stay, 
they tacitly insinuate that I can resign, as hundreds will 
be glad to supply my place. Hard indeed is this alterna- 
tive, w*" if in my power I w*^ not hesitate to accept, & 
this they well know. On Sat'' we got home the B^ of 
Oranges, in the afternoon. As usual half rotten & so 
heated that it almost scalded one's hands to pull them 
out. About half are saved & far superior to the first par- 
cel, w'' were universally acid. These are very fine & 
sweet & yesterday for the first time I partook of one. 
The pecans are very fresh & excellent. 

Tuesday 20 Feb. To proceed with my journal. After 
what I had written, about 2 the Com® called to see what 
repairs might be requisite. Mama showed them the 
premises, after w'* they returned to the office, desired 
me to retire, & after some consultation requested the 
President to communicate to me in writing, that it 
was not expedient to allow tch]e Secretary to remove 
from thee o]ffice. Not only withholding any equivalent 
in case I sh** remove but absolutedy] forbidding it, unless 
upon resignation, taking advantage of the times when 
so many are destitute of employment to compel my 
compliance with their mandate. Not recollecting that 
the spring of the peace when rce]nts were exorbitantly 
high and offices in great demand that M"" Lenox then 
president supported by M"" Sherred, now most strenuous 
against me, wanted on the 15*^ April after every house 
in the City was engaged by the influx of adventurers, to 
turn my family out neck & heels to make room for Tom 


Herring a Broker, since faided] then high in the confi- 
dence of ]\P Lenox, & who offered an exorbitant 
price. . . . 

Wedn^ 21 

In the evening I am obliged to attend the Pauperism S** 
being on the Committee to report on the Fuel saving 
Fund, which ]VP Golden has drawn up. This project 
will I expect be attempted & I believe will be the last 
that I shall attempt, and confine myself to such duties 
as I am compelled to discharge & which by the increasing 
business of my office, from w'' I cannot retire, press heav- 
ily on my advancing years. These are among the too 
many idle resolutions made on the renewal of every 
year, but necessity will compel what is refused to dis- 

Thursday 22*^ Feb^. Anniv^ of Gen. Washington's 
birth day, never to be forgotten by me, a black day in 
my Calendar, on w^ y' dear brother Lewis with his uncle 
Gasherie ^ took his final leave of us, never to return. . . . 
I was obliged to attend in my place, at the Pauperism 
S** on the report of the Com® to establish a Fuel Saving 
Fund, to advocate its principles, for sentiments on the 
benefit of such projects, must always be various, plausi- 
ble objections will be raised by many well meanng per- 
sons, who are almost afraid of doing good least a possible 
evil sh*^ ensue. The Report, drawn up by Mayor Golden, 
was adopted, & we are now to look out for suita[ble] 
characters as Trustees. I cannot attempt any agency, 
for in fact I have too much to do already, besides these 
acts of benevolence & mercy operate against me with 
some of my narrow minded illiberal Directors who 
reg[ar]d their underlings merely as Turnspit dogs to turn 
the wheel that roasts their masters dinner. No bad em- 
blem of my lot. How much pride have I to swal- 
low. . . . 

There is a joyous Club in this city called the Sour 

5 Gasherie Brasher, brother of Mrs. John Pintard, and young Lewis 
Pintard, son of John Pintard, were lost at sea in 1803. 


Crout Club ^ w^ meets on this Anniversary about 6 miles 
from town, composed chiefly of the friends of M"" Clinton. 
Sour Crout is a German dish, prepared with vinegar & 
spice & in perfection a sallad for a Hog. The president 
of the year is installed with great solemnity, crowned 
with a huge Bergen Cabbage, & his officers distinguished 
witih enormous square Hats & rusty Sabres. Sour crout 
w^ all must taste, is garnished with all the luxuries of 
the season, venison &c* with wines of rarest quality & 
highest prices. Great Hilarity abounds, & at a late hour 
these gourmands adjourn until the next anniversary & 
return, such as survive the battle, as jolly as any other 
votaries of Bacchus. I have been repeatedly invited, but 
always declined, until that period has arrived when an 
old man, if prudent, sh^ chaunt his nunc est abire, for 
fear of making an old Fool of himself. No man turned 
of sixty ought to trust himself at promiscuous revelling 
parties. Too apt to forget his years and play the boy, 
he inevitably degrades himself in the eyes of youngsters. 
Lead us not into temptation, ought always to be upper- 
most in his mind who from experience is conscious, how 
hard it is to trust himself. Let old men associate with 
his compeers, & one cannot laugh at the follies of an- 
other. Put not new wine into old bottles, may be para- 
phrased by avoiding too youthful associations. This is 
strange doctrine in y'" land of frivolity, where as the 
good old French Lady told, French folk never grow old. 
I believe however that old people of this polite nation 
are not so licentious in conversation & certainly not so 
given to intemperate indulgence as the English. Polite 
circles, however, with us are becoming, if not more re- 
fined, at least more temperate in convivial meetings 
than the old school, when hospitalty consisted in who 
sh*^ swill the most wine & lay most guests under the table ; 
in this particular modern manners have much improved. 
It w'^ disgrace a man to rise intoxicated not only from 
a private but a public table. Few are distinguished even 

6 There is a short article on "The Krout Club" in The New-York 
Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin (July, 1938), XXII, 83-87. 


among the Young as Bacchanalians, But grovelling 
drunkenness increases among the lower vulgar owing to 
the reduced prices of ardent spirits. It seems if we can- 
not eat that we must drink up our redundant grain, and 
what a kind Providence intended as the staff of life sh'^ 
be converted into liquid poison. . . . 

Friday [February] 23'^. A snow, sleet & rain yest^, & 
hard rain this day prevent the Phoebe Ann from com- 
pleting her lading & she will not sail until Monday, as 
M'" Russel informs me, as Capt. Holmes has conscien- 
tious scruples about leaving port on Sunday, a singular 
trait in a modern seaman. Some of the Nantucket 
Whalemen, Quakers, were so scrupulous in old times that 
the[y] lay by on Sundays & if they came across a drove 
of Whales, however numerous, they preferred losing the 
chance of taking them to working on the Sabbath. But 
such is the competition of modern times that these 
scruples are laid aside, & with them a great deal of the 
honesty & integrity of the old School. As people live 
more by their wits, honesty is a less marketable commod- 
ity. To get rich at any rate, is the order of the day, and 
the successful knave is respected for his wealth & talents, 
while sterling integrity content with honest gains is con- 
temned [for a] grovellor, and his family with himself 
thrown into the shade. This may appear mortifying, but 
such has been the case ever since the world began, and 
the truly wise man will not repine when he sees vice 
triumphant & virtue obscured. 

New York, Thurs^ 1st March, 1821 

The Phoebe Ann sailed on Tuesday 27*'' with my last 
of 26 inclosed in a small package of books to the Doctor, 
w^ I wish safe to hand. Yesf aft. noon the Asia Cap* 
Chew arrived, on b*^ of which is I presume your kind gift 
of the Bl. of Sugar, w^ I will not say is reluctantly ac- 
cepted, but w^ I had much rather you had kept for your 
own use. We have still Mississippi Weather, vapourish 


& humid to excess, w'' will of course retard the Asia. As 
I shall be obliged to attend the Am. B[ible] S[ociety] 
Managers meeting this afternoon, I cannot take time to 
call alongside the Asia for y"" letters, w** possibly will be 
sent to the post ofiSce, the shortest mode of getting them. 

Friday 2*^. No letters. 

Sat^ 3*^. Yest^ afternoon I went to the Asia & pro- 
cured the Bl. of Sugar, the head of w*" had fallen in by 
the sugar settling & the Cask being indifferent. There 
were no letters . . . Mama says the Sugar looks beau- 
tiful. The Barrel we are now using, & w^ I think you 
s*^ was the gift of your late friend Col. Butler, & w^ came 
as dry & neat as a Flour barrel, is so clean & dry that 
we all prefer it with Tea to Havanna Sugar. . . . We 
have had a visit from the Rev. M"" Bayard, on his way to 
& from N Rochelle to make arrangements for his re- 
moval, full of hope & ardent expectation of success in his 
academical enterprize. He will take with him from New- 
ark six boys & will have 6 day Scholars at N Rochelle 
to commence with, a good beginning. His only difficulty 
will be in his want of the domestic aid, that can alone 
ensure success, for M'* B. is always complaining & out 
of sorts & too indolent for a poor parsons wife. He is 
to keep a Housekeeper on whom the care of his Boarders 
is to devolve. I see no other real obstacle to his success, 
for education is becoming so universal, that schools in 
the proximity of this city if well conducted, must always 
attract scholars, as numerous families will always prefer 
sending their boys abroad to keep them to torment them 
at home. . . . 

Monday [March] 5*^. A troublesome office day. On 
Saturday night a considerable Fire broke out at mid- 
night in B** way corner of Fulton, nearly opposite S* 
Pauls. We shall lose about $2000, w** is coming out very 
well, but I am run down with enquiries & to ascertain 
policies insured. We slept tranquilly thro' the whole, 
without being disturbed. It is my attending month at 
the Savings Bank. After my return near 10, Mama had 
prepared a nice plate of fried Oysters of w^ I partook & 


sat up later than usual & slept like a top. Yesterday- 
was communion at Grace w"" I attended with Mama & 
Sister, leaving the cares of this world for the morrow. I 
have just rec'^ a letter from Burlington advising that 
Doctor Boudinot had been attacked with the gout in his 
head w*" quite alarmed the family. He has recovered in 
a degree. Cousin Susan Bradford had also an attack of 
the Gout w^ appears to be hereditary in this family, but 
is convalescing. A letter from M'' Bayard mentions that 
M"" Stocktons Mansion House took Fire on the 2'^ & was 
much damaged. ]\P S. was absent at Trenton. The Fur- 
niture & Books were obliged to be removed. The original 
Mansion House, in the days of his Father on the same 
site, was entirely burnt down, somewhere about 1770. 
What fatality. 

Friday [March] 9*^. My progress has been very tardy 
witih this diary. Last ev^ Sister for the first & only 
time this winter went to a party at her Cousins Julia 
Weeks. She was dressed in the counterpart of the white 
merino sent to you last fall, & I c** not but figure to 
myself my dear daughters both attired alike. She looked 
very well, has a beautiful head of hair, & w*^ pass for 
pretty, anj^where. The fashionable parties here outrage 
all bounds as to late hours. They go at 8 & return from 
Tea between 11 & 12. Sister, to her great mortification, 
by Mamas injunctions returned half past 10, just as the 
refreshments, as all the trash is called, were beginning to 
be distributed. This servile imitation of foreign man- 
ners little accords with our state of Society. The rich 
adopt & the vulgar herd tread close on their heels. We 
have a large proportion of mock gentry in this city, 
whose only ambition is to excel the older families in 
expense & dissipation. The cry of hard times is univer- 
sal, but retrenchment is not the order of the day among 
such as have survived the wreck of commerce. A spirit 
of luxury & refinement has in the course of my days 
been gradually gaining ground, propelled by the rapid 
accumulation of wealth, during the French revolution. 
It is difficult to retrace & fall back to habits of early sim- 


plicity. The Fathers have eaten sour grapes & the chil- 
drens teeth are set on edge. Instead of bringing up 
daughters to excell in domestic virtues, the varnish of 
modern education is substituted for the solid bullion of 
the old school, & girls must be constantly dressed & pa- 
rading the public streets in the morning & breaking down 
their constitutions by Fashions unsuitable to our cold 
climate, & extreme late hours in the evening, in hopes of 
attracting a beau who is only to be caught by a golden 
bait, of which there is a plentiful lack as times go. This 
may appear like the croakings of a cynical old man & 
may savour of disappointed cpros]pects in life, granted, 
but the picture is not overcharged and is corrocboriated 
by much observation. The present generation must pass 
away, before a new & better order of things can take 
place, and I have little doubt but that a gracious Provi- 
dcence] will bless & prosper the numerous institutions 
religious & benevolent that are daily arising in our coun- 
try, whose influence must operate at a future day. In 
the mean time let us be thankful that the world is no 
worse than it is & use our individual efforts to make it 

Another Mission family intended for the Missouri 
country, about 40 in number, left this city on Tuesday 
on their route to Pittsburg so as to reach their station 
early in the season & get settled in time to till the ground 
& provide for their winters support, as well as to erect 
their habitations thro' the summer. Last year one fam- 
ily went to the Arkansaw but so late as to encounter 
many difficulties. Many thousands attended their em- 
barkation on board the Elizabeth town Steam boat at 
3 p. m. The sight was very imposing. After wiping the 
falling tear from the eyes of the parting pilgrims, they 
were cheered as they slowly left the shore by a con- 
solatory hymn of praise to their Heavenly Father & Re- 
deemer whose standard they are going to plant in a 
heathen land. It is to be hoped that the modem meas- 
ures of civilization & education going hand in hand may 
be successful, but it is a remarkable fact, that after all 


the pains taken by the old Puritans who settled Massa- 
chusets, whose piety & rigid morals prevented gross 
abuses of the natives, that after the very first generation 
of Instructors & converted Indians passed away, the de- 
scendants of the latter all degenerated & with the sow 
that was washed returned to wallowing in the mire. It 
seems as tho' the Indians altho' they may attain to a 
certain degree of civilzation & improvement when herd- 
ing by themselves, cannot intermix with the white set- 
tlers without degenerating & becoming worse than in 
their original state. It is to be proved whether their 
condition can be meliorated or whether like the Eastern 
tribes they are doomed to annihilation. 

Monday [March] 12*''. Mama has had a very severe 
attack of Fever, arising no doubt from colds & agitation 
of spirits. It lasted from Thurs^ till yest^. It was sub- 
dued by repeated dozes of calomel w** she took by her 
own prescription & knowledge of her constitution. . . . 
After even^ service I accompanied Sister to see M""^ Tal- 
bot who has been long confined, but is convalescing. 
Her health is very delicate & she is readily dispirited, but 
will recover. At noon I called on y"' Aunt Betsey,^ at 
M""^ Callendars, where she arrived on Friday even^. . . . 
I believe I omitted acknowledging rec* of the Oyster 
sheU, a very fair specimen of the size of y*" Oysters, w*" 
I think are not fit for roasting being too fresh, but other- 
wise capable of being stewed, fried or pickled to advan- 
tage. I shall place it in the Lyceum Cabinet of Testa- 
teous curiosities. D"" Hosack last ev^ gave a copy of his 
2^ Edition of Nosology for the Doctor, just published, 
with additions, & w*" I will send by return of Cap* 
Holmes. I sincerely wish that it were S* Augustine in- 
stead of N. Orleans that you were settled. How short & 
easy w*^ be the intercourse. The acquisition of Florida is 
an important epoch in the presidency of M'" Monroe. I 
find that Gen. Jackson is appointed Governor. If he 
accepts he will make a very energetic one. On Friday & 

7 Mrs. John Marsden Pintard (Eliza Smith), sister of Mrs. Thomas 


Sat^ we had May days, this is observed & the Spring 
Cattle show is to take place at Mount Vernon this day 
& tomorrow. The enemies of Gov"' Clinton, the great pa- 
tron of the Agricultural Societes, have brought in a Bill 
to repeal the State bounties. Never was anything so pro- 
ductive of benefit in so short a period as these societies. 
To gratify personal animosity they are likely to be pros- 
trated. . . . M"" Callendar said that he had called to 
see you. . . . M"" C. returned in the Asia w^ bro* y' barrel 
of sugar. M""^ C. has just your number of children, but 
not very robust, 3 Girls & 3 boys. Your letter of 4**" 
Feb. is just rec^ 11 a. m. a long wate owing to the badness 
of the roads. Indeed, my chagrin is almost equal to the 
Boys on the disappointment of the toy Guns. My mind 
misgave me at the time, but it w** be imprudent to trust 
such young children I sh^ apprehend with Fair Guns so 
early, unless under their Fathers care. Tell Pintard that 
Boys, at the North, are never allowed a Gun till they are 
14 years old. I am very doubtful whether such a thing 
as a light fowling piece is to be found in this city, suitable 
to their strength. . . . My friend M"" Carow an extensive 
hardward merch* just dropped in, I asked him whether 
such guns were to be procured. He says no, that they 
are never imported but by order, for lads of 15, & cost 
from 5 to 15 Guineas, that is from 25 to 75 Dollars, & 
he doubts if fowling pieces for boys like yours ever were 
imported, as parents this way think it early en*' to in- 
dulge, without imminent hazard, their children till 15, 
with a gun. Under these circumstances their Father 
may probably find French pieces in N. 0. & if he thinks 
right can buy & equip his bucanneers, & I will remit the 
amount. But unless it be a la mode de pays, I must think 
it full early to trust them, esp'' with their comrades. I 
had the bad luck, when 12 years of age, to be blown up 
wth gunpowder at M"" Cuttings School w** nearly cost 
me my life. I was 3 months confined to my room, cov- 
ered with plasters before I c*^ appear abroad, & after all 
my suffering & getting my lessons & keeping up with my 
class was most inhumanly scou[rg]ed, or rather flayed in 


the bargain, w'' broke down my spirit in after life for 
sporting with a gun. 

The Brig Statira is advertised by M"" Russel to sail to 
morrow, on b*^ of w*" I will send this as it will certainly 
reach you sooner than by land. I will inclose it in the 
envelope of the Nosology. Cap* Holmes will probably 
arrive by the 17*^ Sat^ having had fair winds. M" P. 
informed me that M" Griffith is expected home this 
spring with M" Dunbar 

[Addressed : ] M^' Eliza N. Davidson 
New Orleans 
By Brig Statira 

Cap* Patten 

New York, Friday 16*'' March, 1821 
a beautiful day 

.... I have just despatched my usual letter to Doc- 
tor Boudinot giving him the particulars of the Managers 
of the A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety] doings at their 
meeting yest^ afternoon. We are raising subscriptions to 
erect a Depository w^ will cost about $15000. M' Joel 
Post, apothecary & druggist, subscribed $3000, & D'' 
Boudinot $1000 about one fourth. We hope to bring up 
the sum to $10,000 in this city & to obtain the balance 
in Boston, Phil'' &c. Whether we shall succeed these de- 
pressed times is dubious, but nothing like trying. . . . 

Sat^ 17*^. S* Patricks a winters day with a sprinkle 
of snow last night, after two unusual warm days. Yes- 
terday the splendid procession of Butchers paraded our 
principal streets, with the carcases of the 52 Fat Oxen 
exhibited at the Cattle Show on Monday. The train 
was composed of as many Butchers Carts besides horse- 
men & bands of musick, colours flying, tag rag & bobtail 
accompanying and reached from Mechanic Hall to Wall 
Street. At night the markets were illuminated, & this 
morning the exhibition of Fat Beef exceeded anything 
ever displayed in this city, which has never been as dis- 


tinguished for fine beef as PhiP but will, if encouraged, 
soon be on a par, both as to meats and butter, in w'' 
our sister city has so long excelled. The establishment 
of Agricultural Societies is in a great degree owing to 
Gov'' Clinton, and of course has distinguished his ad- 
minstration. To break down his popularity, his per- 
sonal & political Foes, w'^ destroy, even, the State, and 
an attempt is now making in our radical Legislature to 
repeal the Law for the encouragement of Agriculture 
w" may probably be too succesful. Altho all the money 
& bounty is necessarily spent in the counties, even all 
subscribed in this city, still such is the baleful effect of 
envy hatred & malice that every generous measure pur- 
sued to improve and elevate the State must be pros- 
trated by vindictive factious views. The desolations oc- 
casioned by Mobs cannot be arrested at the moment by 
the large majority of peaceable citizens, who retire & 
contemplate their rage & fury and eventually suffer for 
their ill judged apathy. It is the same in Legislatures, 
where violence must run its mad career before moderate 
people can be roused from their lethargy. Tho' M"" 
Clinton may be sacrificed by a malignant faction, His 
administration will shine with lustre in the history of 
this State. He will be distinguished as the promoter of 
greater benefit than has fallen to the lot of any of his 
predecessors to accomplish, the times favouring his in- 
telligent exertions, I cannot refrain from apostrophyz- 
ing my friend, whose greatest errors have been too great 
obsequiousness to that desperate party who thirst to 
drink his blood. I met M"" Russell in the market & asked 
if he thought Cap* Holmes had reached y' city. He 
said he calculated that he was discharging this day. 
What despatch sh"^ this prove true. Last ev^ Aunt 
Helen ^ took tea with us. Mama & Sister accompanied 
her to select a Leghorn Hat, the first I believe she has 
had since their being in vogue. Departing she forgot 
to take it with her. Mama called her back. She ob- 
served that she was so unaccustomed to having any thing 

8 Mrs. Samuel D. Craig (nee Brasher), sister of Mrs. Pintard. 


new or fashionable, that it quite escaped her recollec- 
tion. I could not but sigh inwardly at her too true re- 

Monday 19 March. Your letter of 17*^ Feb^ advising 
the Doctors reappointment as Resident Physician is just 
rec"^ and I sincerely congratulate you on the event. The 
emolument $800 is very trifling, but always so much. 
The distinction however is flattering & the introduc" to 
more extensive practice, probably. . . . 

Tuesday [March] 20*^ 

It pleases me to learn that Eliza goes to M. Fortiers 
School, which I presume will excite her emulation. . . . 
Are the finer branches of needlework taught in this 
School? too often a superficial accomplishment, but al- 
ways an embellishment to those, who like yourself & dear 
Sister are competent to plain sewing in all its details. 
Indeed ornamental needlework is so fashionable and 
amusing that no educated female ought to be ignorant 
of it. The French I hope she will rapidly acquire, expe- 
cially colloquially, at the period when once attained will 
never be forgotten, and spoken with fluency, that will 
secure her from that mauvaise honte inevitably attend- 
ant on restricted conversation. No one likes to speak a 
difl&cult tongue. The niceties of pronunciation fall dis- 
tinctly on the ears of children, as is obvious in every 
family, where a child always instinctively catches the 
very words, tones of utterance & expression of parents. 
If vulgar, the child is vulgar, if refined these little imi- 
tative birds echo their mothers notes with every inflec- 
tion of tune & harmony. How careful then ought parents 
to be to avoid not merely vulgar but commonplace cant 
phrases, w^ from their peculiarity & even ridiculousness 
make a strong & lasting impression. I know from sad 
experience the evils of vulgar association, & often blush 
on detecting myself in literary circles droppng, unheed- 
ingly, expressions too familiar & w*" savour of low so- 
ciety. Education was very circumscribed when I came 
on the stage, & my contemporaries, wanting the benefit 
of even tolerable education all speak but little above the 


common herd. In a man, this is somewhat excuseable, 
but a Females conversation should be the index of her 
mind, pure chaste & unaffected. Your Mother, for an 
uneducated person, growing up in the midst of the revo- 
lutionary war, & deprived of all schooling, speaks with 
more accuracy & discrimination than any of her stand- 
ing. I know not that she ever is guilty of a vulgar ex- 
pression, & before we had Walker's pronouncing Dict^ 
for a standard of pronunciation I always appealed to her 
nicely attuned ear, in cases of doubtful decision. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Asia 

Captain Chew 

New York, Monday 26 March, 1821 

.... Aunt Betsey dined with us on Thur^ & you 
were the topic of our conversation. She looks better 
than I ever saw her, & in excellent spirits as usual, par- 
taking of the gaieties of our city, w^ after her seclusion 
afford a double relish. ... I lately rec*^ a very interest- 
ing letter from our young kinsman Sam^ Bayard J"" who 
went to his uncles at Savanna last fall, for the improvem* 
of his health. He has visited upper Georgia, as well as 
lower, with much observation & discrimination of char- 
acter. His letter evinces an excellent mind, and he writes 
with great strength & neatness. He gives every indica- 
tion of eminence in his profession, the Law, the study 
of which he is just commencing. I take an earnest in- 
terest in my dear Sister Pattys children, for I must re- 
gard her as a sister. She is all that remain except my 
own little flock, of my near & dear Family. . . . 

Tuesday 27*^. Another, & I hope last snow for the 
season, w** has been unusually backward. The naviga- 
tion of the Hudson was not open to Troy above Albany 
until the 25*^. M"" Bayard dined with us. He says that 
his sister Julia has gone on with her Father to Phil^ to 
have an operation performed for the Quinsey, with w^ 
she has been troubled in a light degree. Cousin Mary 


Brasher din'd with us. She is a dear good girl, and very 
much engaged in the benevolent & charitable Societies 
of her Church (the Dutch) a constant superintendent of 
the Sunday Female School, for 4 yeairsJ How much the 
Christian world is indebted to your sex for the discharge 
of the m[os]t interesting duties of domestic and social 
charity, and what elevation the Christian religion has 
given to their character & rank in Society. What you 
were in the days of heathenism is exemplified before 
your eyes whenever you see a poor Indian woman who 
is doomed to perform all the drudgery of their tribes, 
and to carry like beasts of burthen whilst their lordly 
masters look down on every thing but war & hunting 
with contempt. Point out this remark to your dear 
daughters as you walk the Levee and see the miserable 
Choctaws. . , . [March] 28*''. The weather is a[s] com- 
pletely winter as any we have had this season & the 
cold, this morning, was intense. How different from 
this day twelvemonth w"" was fine & mild, when I com- 
menced the experiment to restore my hearing which to- 
tally failed. My infirmity gradually increases; & the 
difiiculty of hearing is such, as will compel me to resign 
my seat in the Pauperism So[ciety] as soon as I have 
disposed my share of duty in the effort to establish a 
Fuel Saving Fund, & w^ will I hope terminate on Thur^ 
next. It is an experiment of doubtful issue, for poor 
people, like the Indians are too apt to forget Winter 
when warm weather returns. I shall at any rate have 
made the attempt, w*" if abortive, the principles will be 
left on record to be operated on, possibly, at some future 
day. It will never do to force improvements; by hold- 
ing them up for public consideration the mind is pre- 
pared & when suitable they will be carried into effect, 
provided always that they are rational. No one therefore 
ought to feel disgusted at the rejection of his opinions, 
but yield to the will of the majority. Age & experience 
can alone enforce the propriety of this rule. 

Thur'' 29*''. My mind has received a shock this 


morn^ by a sudden stroke of apoplexy w^ befell M' 
Sherred, one of my Directors, last night at 1 o'clock, 
with no hope of recovery. At noon yest'' we were all 
laughing & joking together in the office, & the first news 
this day was the above event. In the midst of life we 
are in death and Be ye also ready is the solemn warning 
that it behoves me to lay to heart. Soberly impressed 
as I am, it is [uinpleasant to observe with what indiffer- 
ence many receive the account. This instant [I] men- 
tioned to one of his fellow Directors who came in & the 
reply was "Is it possible" then turned the conversation 
to the price of Stocks & lots as the only objects meriting 
regard. A good pious man, & respectable citizen who 
was in to make Insurance a little before, is the only 
person who uttered a moral or religious reflection. How 
differently we are affected. 

Friday [March] 30*\ Last night at 1 o'clock M"^ 
Sherred breathed his last after an attack of only 24 
hours. He dies affluent, probably worth $200,000 or 
more, all the fruits of his own industry. A German by 
descent, he came from the country to this city, before 
the revolu^ war, & served his apprenticeship to the 
painter & glazier's trade, w^ he prosecuted till within 
3 years with unparralleled industry & success, conducting 
his business on a very large & profitable scale. He could 
command a gang of hands suff^ numerous to send out to 
a gentlemans country seat however large, & paint the 
whole, outside & in, in a single day. As a mechanic he 
was very popular, & bore his faculties with reasonable 
modesty. Of good sound plain sense, he was an active 
& useful Director of several monied institutions & an 
eminently useful vestryman of Trinity, superintending 
gratuitously the repairs of their several Churches. In- 
timate with him as one of my Directors I repeatedly 
urged him to make some testamentary legacies to those 
of our benevolent Societies as he might wish to patronize, 
for he dies without an heir. In November last (I think) 
I wrote him a very solemn letter, on the subject of en- 
dowing a professorship in the Episcopal Theol[ogical] 


Seminary, stating in delicate terms the benefit that w^ 
ensue to the Sem^ & the honour to his name, w'' w*^ be 
perpetuated & preserved from oblivion, the uncertainty 
of life in our best estate, & the precariousness of his 
own, for he had been twice attacked with paralysis be- 
fore. I concluded with these solemn words of Scripture, 
"Make no long tarrying, nor put not off from day to 
day." It was a Sunday morn^ 18^^ Nov. when before 
Church I left the letter at 8 o'clock. The 90^*^ Psalm 
was one [of] the Psalms of the day, and I thought when 
it was read that my letter & this Psalm ought to have 
made a serious impression on his mind. It was some 
weeks before he ever alluded to it, delicacy forbade my 
broaching the subject. He said that he w*^ take it into 
deliberate consideration, w*" I too much fear he put off 
until too late. I was likewise, since that date, urgent 
that he sh*^ do something liberal for the Mechanic 
So[ciety] of w'' he was a member, towards founding 
their Academy for the education of Apprentices, & w" 
of course had a strong claim on him. Before closing 
this I shall probably be able to ascertain whether my 
earnest efforts have been, as I too much anticipate, in 
vain. We are not given to important munificence in 
this city, tho' much is done in the Church collections 

Saturday [March] 3P*. I have not recovered from 
the shock of M"* Sherreds sudden death, nor ought to re- 
strain those feelings & reflections suitable to every well 
disciplined mind. ... , 

It is rumoured that M"* Sherred has left a will, & that 
he has bestowed something to some charitable purposes. 
Of this possibly, I shall know more after the Funeral 
this afternoon at 5 o'clock. Being invited as a Pall 
bearer, is a proof that my friendly suggestions have not 
given offence. . . . 

Monday 2^ April. M"" Sherreds Funeral on Sat'' 
aft [er] noon was one of the largest private funerals that 
I ever witnessed. The procession reached from the Bowl- 
ing Green to Trinity. There were 13 Clergymen, the 


Bishop performed the full service with great dignity & 
impression. Farewell my friend Jacob Sherred. In the 
evening I concluded my duty as attending Trustee at 
the Savings Bank. We were greatly thronged in antici- 
pation of quarter day & rec'^ $9,589.25 frocm] Depositors. 
To prevent oversight I had placed the quarterly $3. for 
each of my dear g[ran]dchildren the preceding Saf" 
even. I did not get home till 1/2 past 10. Our aggregate 
receipts ending 31 March for 1 year & 9 m°^ since the 
commencement amount to $578,943.68, all of which is 
funded an unexampled instance of succcess.: 

Your letter my dearest daughter of 4*^ March is just 
rec*^. I cannot account for the miscarriage of my letter 
of 18*'' Jan^, w^ is always carefully directed franked & 
put into the mail. The Doctor's p. s. is quite a favour, 
the Report, in bad condition, will prove interesting. I 
shall be particular in delivering his message to D"" Hosack 
respecting D"" Rogers. D"" D. ought to acknowledge the 
Nosology himself. M"" Pierce's Funeral discourse on the 
Rev. M"" Larned is also rec*^ w^ I shall look over this 
evening. . . . 

Tuesday [April] 3^. I am all agitation respecting 
the result of M"" Sherreds will. After Legacies to about 
$46,000, he leaves the rest to the Theological Seminary, 
w'' is generally presumed to be the local School, others 
say, that he has divided the residuum between the Gen- 
eral & local Seminaries. But the certainty will be de- 
cided this day. I dare not hope, nor yet after all that 
passed between us in his lifetime can I despair. This 
is the election in my office, w^ keeps me busy & diverts 
my mind a little from the preceding subject. The perusal 
of the Doctors Report last evening afforded me great 

Thursday [April] 5*^. I have [had] not a moment 
to continue my letter till this morn^ before breakfast 
after calling on D"" Hosack to wait on Mama at noon & 
deplete her system, being much distressed with plethora. 
You will see in the Spectator an Article signed an Epis- 


copalian ^ (Bishop Hobart) give the particulars of M"" 
Sherrcds immense Legacy, originally intended for the 
Gen[era]l Epis[copal] Th[eological] Sem[inar]y but by 
construction supposed to have lapsed to the Local 
School. The will is signed 28 Jan^ 1820 & unequivocally 
bequeathed the recslidue of his Estate, after certain lega- 
cies amt^ to short 50000 Dollars to the Sem^ that sh*^ be 
established in the State of N York by the Gen[eral] Con- 
vention of the U States Epis. Ch. or to a Sem^ so es- 
tablished by the Epis: Convention of this State. But I 
think, if the Gcein. Convention sh'^ see fit to remove their 
Sem^ back to N York that the Legacy must go to them. 
On this head legal advice will be taken & you shall here- 
after hear the issuce.l I know not when my mind has 
been so much harrased & agitated. Without egotism I 
regard myself as the principal cause of directing M"" 
Sherreds mind to this bequest & began my importunities 
as early as May 1817, immed^ after the adjournment of 
the Epis. Convention in this City, & never ceased renew- 
ing the subject on all apt occasions. But my views 
extended no further than $25,000 for the endowment of 
a professorship to perpetuate his name. He has gone 
far beyond what had I been consulted I sh^ have ad- 
vised, as such overwhelming bequests to ecclesiastical 
Institutions, may be dangerous. Besides there are vari- 
ous other benevolent Societies whose relative importance 
are as great, & which all might have participated to their 
great benefit & the honour of his name. D'" Hosack 
stepped in on Tuesday ev^. I gave him the Report, not 
having rec*^ his copy. He was much tickled with the D^ 
remark on the Medical police & begged me to put in the 
Newspaper, w'* I shall sketch for the Com^ this day.^'' 
I inscribed y'" Roast beef ^^ as you will probably see in 

9 Copied from the Evening Post, under date line Wednesday, April 
4, in the New-York Spectator, April 6, 1821. 

10 A short notice headed "New Orleans" appeared in the [N. Y.] 
Commercial Advertiser, April 5, 1821, page 2. 

11 An "Extract of a letter from a lady in New-Orleans, to her sister 
in this city," was printed in the New-York Spectator, of April 3, 1821, 
about "a superb piece of Roast Beef" transported by steamboat from 
Louisville, Kentucky, to New Orleans, in eight days. 


the Spectator. Mama is much pleased with Brother 
Pierces florid exuberant eulogy on y"" late pastor & friend. 
It certainly indicates genius, and is excusable as the pro- 
duction of a youthful mind dazzled with the vivid hues 
of the Rainbow, a fault which years & reflection can 
alone correct. I shall collect & forward by the Fanny, 
momently looked for, all that I can find on Qua[ra]ntine. 
There has been no new law or amendment this season. 
A proof that the system is considered tolerably perfect 
& may serve as a guide for N. 0. . . . 

New York, Tuesday 10 April, 1821 

.... I find by the arrival of the Fanny yest'' that 
the Phoebe Ann was at Plaquemine about the 22*^ 
March, But as the river is s*^ to [be] unusually high it 
will have impeded its passage till probably the last of 
the month. By this date, possibly Cap* Holmes may be 
nearly ready to return & towards the end of the month 
we may expect y"" dear friend M" Larned & M" Chew. 
I shall request M' Russell to conduct M" Larned to our 
house, sh*^ she reach the wharf before I shall hear of it. 
His vessels lay very near us at Pine Street, just above 
Coffee Ho [use] Slip, a mere step. For you[r] sake par- 
ticularly as well as for the merits of this interesting lady, 
Mama & Sister will give her a most hearty welcome, as 
well as show their kindest attentions to M" Chew for 
her goodness to our little Eliza, who I hope wiU so im- 
prove at Mons' Le Forts School as to meet y"" fondest 
expectations. The oppo[rtunity] that M" Chew will 
afford of a favorable protection to Sister will I sincerely 
hope gratify you both by a visit. We shall now look 
forward to that pleasure if nothing sinister sh^ occur, w'' 
God avert, thro' the approaching summer. It is very 
gratifying to your Mama & myself to find that the post 
of Resident physician has been conferred on the Doctor, 
a mark of public confidence, w'' must elevate him in esti- 
mation & practice. My friend Francis promises a review 
of the Medical So[ciety] of N. 0. in one of the Reposi- 


tories. D*" H[osack] had not on Sunday ev^ last rec*^ his 
Copy. I shall obtain I hope from these gent" & from 
Gen. Morton such Jvledical documents relating to Quar- 
antine & our B*^ of Health, to forward by the Fanny, as 
may be useful, perhaps, to the Doctor. Duplicates can 
be given to his Medical S°. By the way, what has be- 
come of the S° of w'' the Doctor was President. I see he 
is only Treasurer in this new one, a trustworthy but not 
an office of rank. Does the S° attempt the formation of 
a Library, w** cannot be too early enterprized & w" gives 
interest & character to every institution. . . . 

Since my last of 5'" inst. my mind by the intervention 
of a blessed Sabbath, has become more tranquillized on 
the subject of M' Sherreds legacy, that by fortuitous 
circumstances has been diverted from the original inten- 
tion of the Testator, to the local Th[eological] School. 
Whatever is, is right, and it is our duty to submit to the 
wiU of Divine Providence who superintends, directs & 
governs all things for the best, however inscrutable to 
poor human judgment. Since this event, another valu- 
able legacy has occurred to the Orphans Assylum, of ab* 
$50,000. A M"" Philip Jacob [s], a converted Jew, had in 
the course of a long life acquired a handsome property. 
Losing an aged wife, like an old Fool, he married a young 
woman his housekeeper. Jealous & hated, he attempted 
to lock her up & thus led, no doubt, an unpleasant life 
for a year or two, when he followed his first, leaving his 
second wife pregnant. He settled on her an income of 
$1200 a year during widowhood & $1000 a year for life 
in case of marriage with remainder & reversion to the 
child, ^- w*" in case of its decease, before coming of age, is 
to go the Orphan Assylum. These instances will I hope 
operate favourably, and dispose others to give a portion 
of what they must leave behind to religious & benevolent 

Thurs^ [April] 12*''. I have been very much engaged 
with the concerns of the Gen^ TheoP Semn^. An opinion, 

12 The child, Maria Louisa Jacobs, died on April 5, 1821. N. Y. 
Spectator, April 10, 1821. 


by a very sound Civilian, has been given that on condi- 
tion of its removing to this State the Legacy is clearly 
due to it. This has led to a correspondence with Bp. 
Brownell & other duties that oppress & distress me. For 
such is the fact, that my brother Agents have afforded 
me no aid, but plaudits, & I am obliged singlehanded to 
do all myself. I only mention, what ought not to trouble 
you, this fact to show how my time is engrossed & how 
eagerly I snatch every spare moment to converse with 
my beloved daughter. . . . We had a very splendid 
funeral yest^, a Miss Jauncey, AE. 69, sister to W" Jaun- 
cey Esq"" an old batchelor, of Tory stock, & great wealth, 
& from whom at his decease some benefactions may be 
expected. He lives more in the style of an English Com- 
moner than any person, at least in our city. He enjoys, it 
is s*^ a clear income of 10,000 Guineas all in the British 
funds. His establishment, tho' not gay, is handsome, 
his coachman & domestics being allowed their Sherry 
wine at their table. He had a brother John who some 
twenty 3 or 4 years ago, weary of life, terminated it by 
drowning & left an illegitimate daughter by a vulgar low 
actress. This child was taken home & bro't up by Miss 
Jauncey. She grew up handsome, dressed elegantly, but 
not overstocked with mind. An heiress, a match was 
intended with a son of Col. Barclay, another of our Tory 
citizens, but of excellent character & British Consul. Her 
uncle settled it is s*^ in consequence of the certainty of 
the marriage $10,000 Guineas on her. Miss however 
fancied a handsome genteel young man a M"" Thorn, of 
no great family, but a midshipman or Lieu* in our Navy 
& married him, to the great mortification of M"" Jauncey 
& disappointment of young Barclay. The Aunt how- 
ever protected her received her home & she has always 
lived in the same House. But M"" J. w*^ never & has 
hitherto for many years tho' residing under the same 
roof, spoken to M"" Thorn. A separate table is kept for 
each, & you may judge of the establishment of the house- 
hold by this fact. M'' Jauncey w*^ never make a Will 
until the decease of his Sister which was on Sunday 


morn^ last, since w*" it is reported that he has signed a 
will from w^ much is expected. His Sisters corpse, the 
weather being cool, was kept three days, I did not see 
the Funeral, being at my post at the Saving's Bank, the 
monthly meeting of the Trustees, when I was appointed 
on the Funding Committee, in the place of IVP Sherred 
deceased. The most important Committee in the Insti- 
tution, the duties of w** I have in fact all along at- 
tended to. 

Friday [April] 13'". As this is a letter of anecdote 
for lack of other matter, I will relate one more w" shows 
the manners & discipline of Colleges before the Revolu- 
tion. Jack Jauncey was a Student in King's College, 
now Columbia in this city. Doctor Miles Cooper an ele- 
gant Oxonian President. As customary at that time the 
Senior class recited in the Presidents Chamber. While 
he was at breakfast, D'" C. being called out. Master Jack 
catched up the Tea Cannister & emptied its contents into 
the Teapot. On D'' C's return & pouring out a fresh 
dish of Tea the prank was detected, & he angrily asked 
what rascal had done this. A dead silence prevailed, for 
boys in that day were true to each other. The question 
being repeated Jack Jauncey avowed that it was himself 
that did. The President called him a scoundrel & or- 
dered him out of the Chamber. Jauncey sent him a chal- 
lenge & the discipline of the College inflicted expulsion. 
Whatever be the consequence. Crimes excepted of a 
heinous nature, never let your boys inform against their 
comrades, nor be tale bearers, w" if the habit be con- 
firmed will degrade them for life. I believe I have here- 
tofore told you of the dreadful effects of turning Kings 
evidence on my college fellow George Blewer, w** broke 
his heart. I have just rec*^ a package from Doctor Ho- 
sack including Gen. Mortons & have renewed my applic'* 
to Francis. D"" H. delivered his in pcer]son for w*" I 
thanked him heartily. 

Saturday [April] 14. At 7, D'" F. came running in 
with his packet of pamphlets, all that he c'' scrape to- 
gether. Such as they are he says may be useful to the 


Doctor, or serve the purposes of the Med[ical] So[ciety] 
in case, as they ought, they sh'^ form a Library. Looking 
over the Library of the College of Physicians in this city, 
I find that they are very exact in preserving all the in- 
augurals not only of their own, but of other Colleges, so 
that when in after life a physician becomes eminent they 
look back to his earliest production, to trace the marks 
of genius. When I look at these pamphlets & consider 
their destination I cannot but tremble for the fate of the 
Resident Physician of N. Orleans & the dangers & horrors 
to w*" his dear family may be exposed thro' the approach- 
ing season. To what alternations of hope & fear is y*" 
poor father exposed. 

Last week I was overwhelmed by a report that on the 
18*^ Nov"" the bodies of several Am'' Naval officers & sea- 
men had been washed ashore at Maldonado, on the N** 
side of the mouth of the River Laplate. Fortunately 
however letters from the purser of the Constellation 
from Rio Janeiro of 20 Dec"" proved the safety of this 
Ship on b*^ of w" is my protege Ja^ H. Clinton. I wrote 
to his Father instantly & hastily, for fear that the re- 
port without its contradiction might reach him. This 
morn^ he replies 

"The commencement of your late letter about James gave me the 
"horrors, & it was some time after the perusal of a favourable denoue- 
"ment before I c^ relieve myself from the original sombre impression. 
"The interest you take in the fortunes of this boy will I hope prove as 
"creditable to your discernment as it is to the goodness of y' heart. 
"He may at some future time reflect on his friend the honor w*" he now 
"derives from his partiality." 

I have no doubt sh^ the life of this boy be spared & 
opp*" offer that he will signalize himself. You may, but 
I cannot expect to live to congratulate him on his laurels. 
The Governor says our canals, Laus Deo, 

"will be finished in 1823, most assm-edly. They are now safely 
"anchored in the affections of the people beyond the power of failure 
"& the reach of ordinary fatalities. When this great work is finished 
"there will be no limits to our financial prosperity; & then the foun- 
"tains of public benevolence & public spirit, will be opened & enrich 
"all our Institutions with the copious streams of munificence." 


You sec the freedom of his correspondence, w^ is very 
rare, with his humble friend. 

Tuesday 17*" Ap. A rainy day that may prevent the 
Fanny sailing tomorrow . . . (noon) a violent N. E. 
storm with sleet, w" will retard the Phoebe Ann. Fortu- 
nately, Sam^ Bayard Jun' arrived in 8 days from Sa- 
vanna. He has improved amazingly in health, & got 
rid of the stiff, formal monastic air of a college. He is 
a very intelligent youth of discriminating observation 
& determined to pursue the study of the law vigorously. 
I hope that his health is so established as may not inter- 
fere with his application on w'' alone depends his future 
hopes. He has genius eno[ugh] that only requires im- 
provement w*" study alone can give. From his account I 
sh*^ suppose that the upper parts of Georgia presents a 
fair field for the exercise of professional talents with a 
certainty of rapid profit. But he appears not willing to 
go so far from home. Time & reflection however may 
alter this opinion. You smile perhaps at the interest I 
take in your Aunt Pattys children, but remember the 
infinite obligations I owe to the memory of her Father, 
which can only be retaliated by kind acts to his pos- 

Wed'' 18*''. It snowed hard this morn^ & sleighs run, 
as in midwinter thro' the streets. Yest^ afternoon we 
c^ hardly [hear] anything else than the unusual noise of 
guns popping thro' every street & open space, & wharves, 
at the poor Robbins & birds impelled by the violence of 
the storm to seek shelter in the city by thousands. Our 
yard was filled almost, but alas! poor birds the elements 
were less adverse than civilized man, and incapable of 
flight they were killed by hundreds to the great delight 
of Cockney sportsmen & boys. The season has been ex- 
tremely backward, & has all the appearance of the last 
of February. Our Agricultural So[ciety] had announced 
the S^^ of May for the exhibition of Butter, for pre- 
miums, but the day must be postponed as there will be 
scarcely any pasture early en° to give a chance to the 
Dairies. I think it was in 1803 when we removed from 


M" Arcularius' ^^ to Duane Street that we had a Fall of 
snow in the beginnmg of May when the peach trees were 
m blossom, but nothing like the storm of yest^ & last 
night, w" must put back Cap*^ Holmes. I shall send this 
by the Fanny w'' was to have sailed this day but will 
hardly, for want of freight, go even tomorrow, but at any 
rate it will reach you sooner than by post. My letter 
will be put in the package of pamphlets for the Doctor, 
to whom I address a short line. . . . 

New York, 20^'^ April, 1821. Good Friday 

.... This day is dedicated to the most solemn 
services of our Church & w*" will be observed by me as 
far as I can detach myself from my office duties. Sister 
goes alone to Grace, Mama being so indisposed that the 
day being raw, she cannot go out least she may take a 
worse cold that may prevent her attending the Com- 
munion on Easter. This severance from my family be- 
gins to be more & more painful, and I believe that I 
must relinquish my going to French Church, to w" I re- 
tain a fond, perhaps weak, partiality. Raised by the 
piety of the Huguenots who fled from religious persecu- 
tion, I venerate even the very walls of a building w*" their 
humble resources enabled them to dedicate to the wor- 
ship of thcalt God for whose holy & undefiled religion 
they fled from every earthly comfort to a foreign land 
governed by laws to w" they were strangers, and by a 
nation long hostile to their own. I cannot reflect on the 
circumstances attending their flight & emigration with- 
out admiration of their zeal & piety that could lead them 
to abandon every earthly comfort to worship God agree- 
ably to the dictates of their conscience. Happy in this 
consolation it sustained them thro' every difiSculty & 
vicissitude. Their attachment to the land of their 
Fathers was however so strong, that the emigrants al- 
ways fondly cherished the hope of returning, and the 

13 George Arcularius, baker, and John Pintard, merchant, are both 
listed at 30 Cortlandt Street in the New York City Directory for 1802. 


old folks enjoined it on their children to carry their 
remains back with them, on their return, & deposit them 
with the ashes of their forefathers. This is a well au- 
thenticated tradition in our family, indeed some of them 
enjoined it as a testamentary request. How thankful 
ought their descendants, generally, to be that an over- 
ruling allwise Providence ordered it otherwise. Many of 
the posterity of the French Protestants have filled the 
most prominent stations in Society and most have risen 
to respectability. I never recal their memories but with 
gratitude for having descended from a pious race of peo- 
ple, eminently distinguished for their character & 
probity. Wherever they migrated & settled they pol- 
ished and benefitted mankind by the urbanity of their 
manners & the introduction of useful arts. I think in 
some former letter that I have adverted to this fact. 
While waiting the hour for church, I have employed a 
few moments in these reflections, w** will soon expire 
with me, and the few ancecidotes of the old French Hu- 
gonots, who were once highly respected & looked up to, 
esp^ by the Dutch, in this city, will soon be obliterated, 
and they that knew them will know them no more. . . . 
Tuesday [April] 24***. On Sunday with a mind 
suitably disposed, I hope, my solemn duties were per- 
formed at the Altar, where I never fail to offer up my 
supplications for my dearest daughter & her dear family. 
. . . Last week on Friday, terminated the trial of Rob* 
Goodwin for the murder of young Stoughton. He was 
acquitted, tho' certainly guilty of manslaughter, perhaps 
unintentional. It is highly creditable to our City that so 
little excitement has been manifested on this occasion, 
and that he was left to the impartial administration 
of Justice. The event has passed off as silently as a com- 
mon action for assault & battery. Let the repenting sin- 
ner live. This day, a beautiful one, is destined for the 
arrival of your friencd: M" Larned. As this is uncer- 
tain, Mama & Sister with some ladies have gone to the 
great Auction of Madame Jumel, about 9 miles from 
town where the greatest display of elegant paintings & 


French Furniture is exhibited that has ever been exhib- 
ited, perhaps in the U States. Stephen Jumel was a 
French merchant who came to this city at the earliest 
stage of the French revolution. It was said that he had 
been a priest. At any rate he was successful in com- 
merce, & having a large quantity of Brandy on hand at 
the breaking out of the late war, quadrupled his capital. 
M""^ J. a handsome boarding house keeper, was his chere 
amie. In a fit of illness, w*" she was adroit eno[ugh] to 
consider her last, she c*^ not die in peace until she was 
lawfully married. To quiet her conscience Jumel mar- 
ried her & Madam recovered, & made him a good wife. 
M"" J. at the close of the late war, wound up his con- 
cerns, taking his lady with him, returned to France. 
Whether the manners or licentiousness of the people did 
not please her or from whatever cause, she reverted in 
about a year, leaving M'^ J. in France, & bringing over 
with her a collection of Paintings, s*^ to have belonged 
to Cardinal Flesche, but w'' having been exhibited in our 
Academy were considered pas grandes choses. The coun- 
try seat. Furniture & an income were s*^ to have been 
settled on her. The latter now offered for sale has at- 
tracted all the Ladies, as well to look at the pictures as 
at their decayed mistress. Mama & Sister with M" 
Talbot have gone out to see what is to be seen, with 
little inclination & less money to buy. Lead us not into 
temptation, is my prayer & practice. What the eye does 
not see the heart does not covet. Knowing my weak- 
ness my best resource is to refrain. Mama has more 
discretion & resolution, but the latter sometimes gives 
way. I stay at home, as well per force, as not to allow 
y' friend to come to a deserted castle, having every 
requisite to give her a hearty welcome but Mama's & 
Sister's presence, & they will be back to tea. Yesterday 
I rec*^ a very affectionate letter from good Doctor Bou- 
dinot, written with trembling nerves, but expressing a 
hope for the blessed privilege of seeing us on Monday 
(7*^ May) preceding the Anniv'' of the A[merican] 
B[ible] S[ociety] Thur^ 10*^ "a Festival I devoutly 


wish to see." Dear good Saint, probably for the last 
time. Altho' I feel reconciled to the event of seeing his 
face for the last time still the pang of parting will be 
severe. He is the last member existing of my ancestral 
race. In the way of gossiping I might have added re- 
specting M'' Jumel that with others of the Roman Cath- 
olics in this city, He attempted the establishment of a 
Monastery & College for educating young men. Your 
Cousin John P. Brasher was sent to this School. A 
Nunnery was also attempted of w'' I thougcht: well & 
wished it to succeed, on account of the strict attention 
paid to morals, health & neatness of the pupils besides 
the oppo[rtunity] for the best education in all branches. 
But our Protestant prejudices did not allow a fair chance 
to these experiments. A dissolution of both took place 
after about 2 years, and I believe that the Nuns, from 
Ireland, went to your city. M'' Jumel was a benevolent 
man. One day at the head of a wharf, a posse w^as col- 
lected around a poor Carman, whose all depended on 
his days earnings to support a wife & children, & whose 
[horse] unfortunately had fallen into the Dock & per- 
ished. All were lamenting & all were expressing their un- 
availing sorrow as M'" Jumel drew nigh. Hearing the 
catastrophe, taking off his hat & laying it on the ground, 
"How much you sorry. I sorry one Dollar" throwing 
it into the hat. The example was followed, & what was 
wanting to replace the loss was cheerfully supplied by 
this benevolent French man who directed the Carman 
to call on him at his Compting House. . . . 

Thursday [April] 26*\ No Phoebe Ann yet. The 
wind has been quite a gale for the two past days at 
N. N. E. & adverse. It is still northerly. . . . Mama & 
Sister with M" Talbot & some other ladies went to M^^ 
Jumels great picture & furniture sale, bought nothing, 
but passed a very pleasant day & returned in the eve- 
ning highdy] delighted. Their only excursion has quite 
renovated them both after a long winters confinement. 
We anxiously expect M""^ L.^^ after w^ comes D"" Boudinot 

1* Mrs. Sylvester Lamed (Sarah Wyer). 


& M'^ Bradford, who altho' they put up at the City Ho- 
tel engross all their attention. Next come Aunt Patty & 
her daughters, & finally the horrible tho essential puri- 
fication of our old castle from garret to cellar. Poor 
dear Mother what an incessant slave she is to house- 
keeping. Her minuteness often astonishes me. This 
afternoon I must attend the Am. Bible S° but always 
leave instructions to Andrew, ^^ to fly to the wharf in 
case of notice of M" L's arrival & attend her home, get 
a carriage or whatever may be required. I wish she were 
safe here. (12 o'clock) I have just been to M" Russells 
who informs me that the Phoebe Ann is below in 12 days, 
& that a pilot is on board & she may be alongside at 
3 o'clock. ... (1 o'clock). The arrival of the Phoebe 
Ann announced. I go. (2 o'clock) Thank God y"" dear 
friend is under our roof, with her sister M'^ Weir ^® & 
domestick. I went on board as the Brig hauled along 
side & congratulated y"" friends on their safe arrival. M""^ 
Chew is very thin & I think her 2*^ daughter looks very 
much as Louise did, a pretty cherub face plump as a 
partridge. The baby is also very well, the son & eldest 
Miss C. Y"" good friend is very delicate, a mere shadow, 
but her Sister blooms in all the plenitude of rotundity. 
M"" Woolsey gave me y"" letter for Sister & he is won- 
derfully improved. I introduced the ladies upstairs & 
have ret[urne]d to my desk. Thank God they are safe 
& in health. 

Friday, 27^'' April. My dearest beloved daughter I 
have seen you all but alive. M" Larneds fond heart told 
me on b"^ the Brig that you had sent y"" pictures, but I 
tho't they were only profiles or miniatures, and altho' 
any resemblance w^ have been acceptable, the circum- 
stance had escaped my mind. What with looking after 
the Ladies &c. our dinner was belated, and I went to 
the Bib[le] So[ciety] without any. Returning at dusk, 
I found M" Chew & Miss Duer who had called to see M" 
L. Your good sister, obed* to y'' order had masked the 

15 Andrew Warner. 

16 Probably Mrs. William Wyer, wife of Mrs. Larned's brother. 


portraits behind some chairs. Turning round I observed 
a gilded frame, & the pictures came to my recollection. 
It was the Doctor's that I first approached w'' after a 
glance I left to look at yours. If the overflowing of a 
fond fathers heart be any evidence of a perfect likeness, 
that evidence was bestowed in the artists favour. The 
resemblance is true to nature, but the sombre cast of 
countenance looks as if it bespoke the sad feelings of 
a dear beloved child for the immeasurable distance that 
separates her from the bosom of her family. Yes my 
dearest daughter your Sister shall keep the portraits for 
our use whilst we live, and to transmit them please God, 
to your children. Mama & Sister recognize the Doctor, 
they were more with him & more sensibly impressed 
with his features, but his attenuated frame did not 
leave the like impression on my more obdurate mind. 
I did not think he looked so well, nor so handsome. Y"" 
friends say it is a true likeness. Metcalf ^^ I understand 
took them. He has done you both justice & himself 
credit. They are full as pleasing to us as tho' Jarvis 
painted them, who is one of our very best portrait paint- 
ers. Metcalf has wonderfully improved. . . . Mama & 
Sister will be very kind to y*" dear friend & her very 
pleasant Sister, a fine frank openhearted young lady, 
whose easiness of manners are quite prepossessing. We 
feel no ways incommoded, with the company of such 
friends as are willing to partake of the best accommo- 
dations our humble roof affords. I trust they feel quite 
at home. Remember us aff[ectionatel]y to the Doctor. 
Thank him over & over again for your portraits, the con- 
templation of which will sooth many an hour, & I shall 
soon get reconciled to my dearest childs pensive looks. 
Kiss all y"" children. M" Chew says that her 2^ is very 
much like Mary, so does M" L. If so she must be very 
pretty. Mama & Sister will be very attentive to M" C. 
as I told her waiting on her home last night. Adieu. 

Y^ fond father 
J. P. 

"Eliab Metcalf. 


New York, 30**^ April, 1821. Monday 

My dearest daughter, 

The Pacific which sailed on Saturday, will safely & 
speedily I hope, have conveyed my letter giving the 
pleasing intelligence of the safe arrival of your interest- 
ing friend M'^^ Larned & her frank amiable sister M'^ 
Wyer, who remain with us until Wed^ when probably, 
weather permitting they will take passage in the Steam 
Boat at 6 a. m. on their route homewards. Mama & 
Sister have done every thing in their power to render 
their stay agreeable to them. They took tea Friday 
ev^ with Miss Center, Saf^ ev^ with M""' Robinson ^^ 
where M""" Chew stays, & this ev^ I believe with M" 
Goodhue, & dined on Sat^ with M"" Perrit,^^ partner of 
M"" Goodhue, so that they do not want for invitations. 
Yesterday M" Lamed went with M"^^ Chew to Wall 
Street Church, in the afternoon with Miss Woolsey, to 
M' Mathews',^'^ and in the ev^ to Trinity. In the morn^ 
M""^ Wyer went with Mama & Sister to Grace, but nei- 
ther went the remainder of the day. Indeed they re- 
quired some repose, after the midnight hours, w*' are 
observed by y^ N. Orleans friends. Least the early 
departure of Cap*^ Holmes for Wed^ sh^ prevent their 
writing, I mention the preceding for y"" satisfaction, & to 
show you that y"" friends have not been positively im- 
mured. On Saf aft.noon, the only hour I had leisure I 
waited on them to the Museum. This day Aunt Helen is 
to dine with us, weather permitting, for it is now quite 

7 A. M. just ref^ from market. I hasten before the 
duties of the day begin, to commence this line. This 
is the last not only of the month, but of the last six 
months, & I shall be closely engaged in preparing to bal- 
ance my books for Dividend, alway a pressing period. 

18 Mrs. Morris Robinson (Henrietta Elizabeth Duer), a sister of Mrs. 
Beverly Chew (Maria Theodora Duer). 

i^Pelatiah Perit, partner of Jonathan Goodhue. 

20 The South Dutch Church, on Garden Street, of which Rev. James 
M. Mathews was pastor. 


On Saturday after dinner, Mama suspended y"" portraits, 
w" gives better effect to the likenesses & takes off that 
very sober air that yours first impressed. It is a faithful 
excellent resemblance as it ought to be natural, without 
an affected smirk or artificial attitude, the drapery is 
chaste and neat, and y"" fond father contemplates y"" pic- 
ture with delight. It all but speaks. The Doctor has 
improved beyond my conception, & y"" friends her[e] 
say that both likenesses, his esp^, are admirable. 
Shou[l]d Medcalf return I shall employ him to take 
ours for you. You did right not to set to Jarvis, he is 
one of our very best artists, but a very profligate, and 
he c'^ not have pleased me better than Medcalf has done. 
There is a M"" Waldo here who holds a delicate faithful 
pencil but his terms, like all established artists are 100 
D^ a portrait without frames, and $300 is a pretty seri- 
ous sum esp'' when as good can be obtained for half the 
price. . . . 

Tuesday 1'* May. 5 P. M. It is decided that M" L. 
departs tomorrow. She had concluded to wait until Fri- 
day for some friend, who it appears go tomorrow which 
affords them a favourable escort. They dine to day with 
a cousin of M" L., Pierson I think. Last evening was 
past at M" Goodhues. Mama & Sister not visiting did 
not go. Yest^ the party dined home, y"" friend M" 
Chew was with us a very amiable lady. Excepting Sun- 
day I have seen them but little, my time being so much 
occupied. I am obliged to retire at 10, & rising early 
breakfast at 8, so that my company is not irksome. 
Mama & Sister have done every thing in their power 
to make their short stay agreeable. By the Live Oak 
M" L. rec'' y"" letter w*" was very gratifying to her. She 
sh[owe]d it to me & as it contains the Table talk of 
N. Orleans I was much edified, if not enchanted. On 
what an elevated scale you Southerns move ! Poor Sister 
will shrink I fear from encountering your gay circle. 
However it shall not be my fault please God if she does 
not go. The Phoebe Ann does not sail till Thurs'' a 
fortunate circumstance, as Mama will have a moment to 


get y"" shoes & pack them to go by Belinda, who returns 
home. Better so than thro' discontent to make an elope- 
ment here. I am also pleased with the delay, for really 
I am worn down. This has been a very hot day, in full 
winter dress, fearing to change, office duty extreme, 
meeting & election of the Chamber of Commerce. I did 
not go to dinner for 15 minutes, called down to receive 
payments of interest, . . . 

Wed^ [May 2,] 7 A. M. Your friends arose betimes 
and got off in good season for the Steam boat. It is a 
delightful morn^ & they will have a pleasant passage. 
They have written to go by Cap* Holmes. Being the 
last even= the ladies staid home, pretty much fatigued I 
apprehend with trotting about on our stone pavements. 
Mama & Sister on whom the weight of every thing falls, 
will have a little repose before the arrival of Doctor 
Boudinot. We expect M"" Bayard from Princeton this 
day, & in a fortnight. Aunt Patty on her way to N. 
Rochelle to see her son settled. We are likely to become 
the halfway house for these families. I only wish that 
we lived distinct from my office, for Wall Street has 
become so full of public offices that a Female has no 
liberty of egress or ingress scarcely from 10 to 3. Better 
this however than worse. ... I send the Doctor the 
last N'' of the Repository, also a pair of very handsome 
Razors which I bought to encourage a very ingenious 
German Cutler, not wanting them & so transfer them 
to the Doctor. They were made in this city. 

3 p. m. Just closed my urgent labours, & was so 
busy that I c** not even speak to M"" Bayard, who it seems 
had passed thro' to N Rochelle & called en passant in 
great haste. I rec*^ a line from D^ Boudinot & have en- 
gaged his lodgings at the City Hotel. By Divine per- 
mission he will arrive next Monday, to preside most 
probably for the last time on the Thursday following 
at the Anniv'' of the A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety] in 
w^ his whole soul is engaged. . . . Mama & Sister write 
short lines for they have been much driven, doing all 
themselves w'' is humiliating & mortifying before stran- 


gers, who no doubt contrast our slender menage with 
the more extensive households to w*" they have been ac- 
customed. . . . 
[Addressed:] M'' Eliza Davidson 
New Orleans 
By Cap^ Holmes 

New York, 4*'^ May, 1821. Friday 

.... Late last ev^ Aunt Patty, with her Rev[erend] 
son & his daughter Cornelia arrived from Newark, ex- 
posed to a disagreeable N. Easterly haze. She had a 
high fever all last night & is now confined to her bed, but 
will I hope recover by a days repose. Tomorrow they 
are to go to N Rochelle, the parsons goods being all em- 
barked. M""^ B[ayard] jun' & the caravan of children 
are to be here tomorrow. I think it probable they may 
remain over till Monday. What with y"" late regular 
friends & this succession of itinerants y"" Mother is worn 
out & Louise to mend the matter has taken a violent 
ague in her face. I confess I never saw Csuch high: 
spirited females as y"" two friends, who appeared to re- 
quire no sleep. . . . 

Monday 7*''. We have been extremely uneasy, since 
the preceding, for Aunt Patty. On Saturday her fever 
increased, & yest^ morn^ she had every symptom of 
Typhus. Doc' Stevens ^^ who married a daughter of M' 
John Bayard of Millstone attended her, bled her on 
Sat^ & applied a blister yest^. During the whole day 
she was delirious, with all the unfavourable attendants 
of violent pain in her head, back &c., in short her situa- 
tion was so very critical in the opinion of her Physician 
that he wrote on for M"" Bayard who we expect this day. 
. . . This morning now 11 Mama tells me that y'" Aunt 
sat up, to have her bed made, aired & linen changed & 
begins to feel an appetite, & is I trust convalescing. 

21 Alexander Hodgdon Stevens. 


Monday 14*'' May. . . . M"" Bayard arrived at 11 on 
Monday & found his dear wife better than I had antici- 
pated but far from out of danger. On Tuesday Aunt 
Patty was again extremely ill. At noon M""^ L. Bayard 

6 her children arrived bringing Caroline with them. 
They set out for N. Rochelle at 4 P. M. having dined. 
On the same day Doctor Boudinot arrived at the City 
Hotel. I had gone over the Ferry in the afternoon of 
Monday to meet [him], but [he] was too indisposed to 
set out. On Wed'' he was so weak that I despaired of 
his cbeijng able to preside w^ however he did on Thur^ 
an elegant day, for about [hal]f the time when he was 
obliged to retire. The business of the day went off 
with great eclat. The impression was solemn on a large 
audience who seem to regard with fixed attention our 
venerable President in call human] probability for the 
last time. A very young Divine, a M"" Somerfield ^^ [MS. 
torn] from London only 23, who has crossed the Atlantic 
for his health, made the last address, only about 5 or 

7 minutes. I think I never heard a more original or more 
elegant speaker. The little he said, owing to the late- 
ness of the hour, near 3 o'clock, exhibited the greatest 
specimen of originality & powerful oratory I ever wit- 
nessed. He had seconded the resolution of thanks to 
the President, who before this had retired. "When I 
beheld the venerable personage entering this Hall, bowed 
down with years & infirmities, my blood thrilled, & my 
heart throbbed. I thought when seated in his chair that 
I saw the patriarch Jacob, leaning on his staff, blessing 
his children." The apostrophe was beautiful & electri- 
fied the audience. A collection sermon in the French 
Church prevented my going to the Methodist Meeting in 
Duane Street yesterday. But next Sunday afternoon he 
is to preach I understand in the Dutch Church in 
Garden Street, when I will take Mama & Sister to hear 
him. Doctor Boudinot sustained the fatigue better than 

22 Rev. John Summerfield, according to Extracts from the Minutes 
of the Fifth Annual Meeting of the American Bible Society, printed in 
that Society's Fifth Annual Report. There is an obituary of him in 
the New-York Observer, June 18, 1825, page 2. 


was anticipated. He left this city on Saturday morn^ 
most probably to return no more. I have parted with 
him under this solemn impression, but possibly we may 
meet yet once more at Burlington next Sept' when I ex- 
pect & hope to attend William Bayards valedictory & 
will extend my visit to Burlington once more. Amidst 
all the incessant calls, my office duties pressed heavily, 
but thank God I was fully prepared on Sat^ to exhibit 
an ace* of my Stewardship & at even reposed, as much 
as a sick room & incessant attention on the part of 
Mama & Sister c*^ admit of comparative tranquillity to 
the whirlwind that prevailed below. I know not that I 
partook of a single meal till Sunday in quiet. Yester- 
day it rained & just before dinner I was called to the 
door to welcome my Shrewsbury cousin Marsden who 
had not visited us for 2 years. He w*^ make an ex- 
cellent backwoodsman, stout rough & heCarty] & a smart 
overgrown lad of 18. Wishes a wider range than his 
home, but I know not where to direct his views. Glad 
w*^ I be to promote his interest. He staid to dinner & 
passed the afternoon. M"" Bayard dined abroad & re- 
turned home at 5. This morn^ I rose at half past 4 to 
see them off. An elegant morn. On Saf Lewis & his 
wife came down & dined & returned p. m. On Wed^ 
Samuel & Julia are to come & stay until their Mama 
shall be well enough to return. M" Boyd has kindly 
pressed her to go to her house out at Greenwich but she 
prefers, & rightly, staying in our family. What sym- 
pathy can they have for her, compared with ours. Thus 
you see what a tavern life of it poor Mama & Sister have 
led now going on 3 weeks. . . . 

(Wed^ [May] 16*^) Aunt Patty is so much better 
that weather permitting she talks of going home on Fri- 
day. . . . Aunt Helen took tea with us jest^ & is very 
anxious for Mama & Sister to pass a week, w^ I hope 
they will do. Their House is a snug little Cabin, but 
may do for a weeks sojourning. Our season is very 
backward, it is now damp & raw, with a S. Easterly 


wind, too warm for fires & too cold without. My legs 
are quite benumbed. This afternoon I shall attend an 
exhibition of our Four Free Schools, of w^ I was for- 
merly a Trustee, a compliment due to my brethren whom 
I left labouring in this useful vineyard. The last & 
the present week have been quite devoted to benevolent 
Societies anniv'' meetings & addresses. In this respect 
we are becoming an Epitome of London, where works 
of Benevolence & Mercy are carried on most extensively, 
''with an eye that never winks, and a wing that never 
tires." The English are an example to all the world. 
They have the heart & the means. Fortunes have been 
so long accumulating & so many of the nobility & gentry 
are perfectly independent, that annual benefactions are 
less precarious than in a society like ours w*" always 
fluctuating between commercial prosperity & adversity, 
those means that are at one period abundant, at an- 
other are entirely exhausted. Still however the dispo- 
sition to give increases & will eventually become habit- 
ual. There are always enough who can afford to give 
for pleasures & sensual gratification, but when it becomes 
fashionable to subscribe to public institutions & chari- 
ties. Vanity will do what cold heartedness forbids. 

(Thurs^ [May] 17*''). . . . Our markets begin to 
show the influence of spring. Vegetables tho' not 
abundcant] are in general fine. Asparagus abounds, & 
being extensively cultivated is reasonable [MS. torn] 
shilling a bunch. 

Yesterday aftercnoon] I attended the exhibition of 
tdie free] Schools in N° 4. It was an imposing & affect- 
ing sight to behold a Church comcpletel]y filled with 
2800 Children decently attired & clean, the boys in the 
Gallery & the Cgirjls below. When they all rose to hear 
the charge of cthel Minister & to receive his bene- 
dcictilon, the effect was solemn & impressive. My feel- 
ings are very feminine on these occasions, & it is with 
the utmost difficulty that I can suppress my emotions. 
The precacher] was a young & popular Methodist, M' 


Moffat,-^ an Irishman, but free from the national 
Caclcent. Too much action approaching to ranting, di- 
minished the effect of but a common place address, well 
enough for children. It is strange however to observe 
how vulgar minds are enchanted with this tinsel elo- 
quence. In large cities, & in the country indeed, where 
regular worship does not exist, the power of the Metho- 
dists is great & [beneficial to Society. The stupid & 
abandoned mucsDt be roused & terrified by vociferation 
& gesticulations. They must have hell opened to their 
imaginations yawning to receive them & swallow them 
up in its everlasting burnings of Fire & brimstone. Like 
the Roman Catholics they appeal to the sencsles the one 
by words, the other by paintings & pageantry. The 
great mass of mankind is vulgar, & this accounts for 
the extension & influence of Methodism. Your hus- 
band is no reader, or I w'^ recommend to him sh*^ it fall 
in his way, Southeys recent Life of Wceslley. It is a 
study that developes the progress of the human 
mind. . . . 

New York, 22^ May, 1821 

My oflSce duties always urgent at this season have been 
doubled to enable me to go to New Haven tomorrow 
in co[mpany] with the Rev. Doctor Milnor, to attend 
a special meeting of the Trustees of the Gen. TheoP 
Sem^ of our Church, on the subject of M"" Sherreds legacy. 
We have only two Trustees for this State, the Rev. M"* 
Wainwright, who has resigned, & M"" Isaac Lawrence, 
whose son having married Miss Gracie last Sat^ & is to 
see company on Wed^ & Thurs^ of this week, prevents 
his going. Tho' extremely inconvenient to myself, rather 
than we sh"^ be unrepresented I have obtained leave of 
absence, to effect which, without detriment to the office, 
I have had to work like a beaver for 3 or 4 days, & have 
everything smooth. Were the season a little further ad- 

23 Rev. John N. Maffitt. 


vanced I w*^ take Mama & Sister, but strange to say, it 
is still necessary to keep a Fire morn^ & even^ & as we 
return Friday night, the time is too short to incur the 
expense, the mere passage being $5 each way, w*^ make 
$30 instead of $10, becsides: tavern expenses. In July I 
may go to the examination, when if they choose they 
can go & pass a week or more, or possibly proceed on to 
Boston to see your cousins Halls, but all this is contin- 
gent. I am happy to hear that you have provided so 
good a helpmate for y"" friend M"" Holliday 

(Wed^ 23'' 5 A. M.) I rose a quarter after 4 & am all 
dressed & prepared to sect] off for the steam boat w" de- 
parts at 6. The morning is overcast with appearance of 
rarin] but I am provided by Mama's care with an over- 
coat & umbrella. . . . 

Sat^ 26 May. Returned home this morn^ find all well 
thank God. . . . 

Monday 28*''. This is a whirligig life that I lead. 
When at New Haven, the time from 5 to 8 A. M. ap- 
peared a whole day, in this ofiice the time from 5 to 12i/^ 
o'clock is but an hour. Such is the difference between 
perfect vacuity & incessant occupation. I have this let- 
ter lying at hand, since 8, and this is the first intermis- 
sion to push my pen. Mama & Sister have been, are, & 
will be all this week engaged in cleaning. Y" Mother 
will work herself notwithstanding all my remonstrances 
so let it pass. By the papers I perceive that a call has 
been given to the Rev. Hooper Cummings of Albany, to 
take the presidency of the College of N. Orleans, with 
a salary of $3000, & an house to live in, & leave of in- 
termission from July to Nov'. Is this possible? M"" C. 
is certain a very pleasing & popular preacher, tho' he 
has been incorrect & very irregular in his ministry. But 
I never knew that he had the least pretensions to clas- 
sical learning or literature. I presume that the Doctor is 
not a party, so much the better. It will be fortunate 
for the projected College sh'^ he decline. He certainly 
has not the talents requisite for a President or to give 
lustre to a classical sem^. This however entre nous. 


He is the socn: of my kind friend Gen. Cummings-^ & 
certainly I ought to be the last to mar his prospects. The 
intelligence has excited much surprize. It may be well 
to give some account of my late adventure. Being only 
an Agent, I refrained from accepting the polite invita- 
tion of the Trustees to attend their sittings. My friend 
Doctor Milnor was elected Trustee in the place of the 
Rev. M"" Wainwright, declined. After reading & exam- 
ining various & discordant legal opinions, the Trustees 
decided on sending a State of facts to the several Bishops 
requesting them to apply to Bishop White presiding 
Bishop, to call a special General Convention to take the 
subject into consideration & determine what steps may 
be expedient to pursue, & if no compromise can be ef- 
fected with Bp. Hobart, to leave the question sh^ it be 
so judged best to judicial decision, to whom & the other 
Bishops as also to the Trustees of the local school, cir- 
culars are to be sent this week. I have dittle] hope that 
Bp. Hobart will consent to a compromise even if the 
Gen. Sem^ shall be established here. He must have the 
sole direction, to w** the Gen. Convention can never 
submit. Perhaps however if he sh*^ think his popularity 
likely to be increased or affected he may change his 
oppugnation. But this I must first see ere I can be- 
lieve. The friends of the Gen. Sem^ will have done all 
in their power to conciliate & harmonize all parties. The 
lot will be cast in the lap & we must leave the issue to 
that wise Providence who overrules all for the best. I 
confess myself agitated, & wish the Sem'' may be re- 
moved, but were it not for the legacy I w*^ give a de- 
cided preference to New Haven, as a permanent site. 

Tuesday [May] 29*\ . . . The General Assembly of 
the Presbyterian Church & that of the Scotch Assco]ciate 
reformed Church at their meeting in PhiP last week 
have agreed to unite, their doctrines & discipline being 
the same. Thus setting a laudable example of break- 
ing down the flimsy partition walls that have too long 
divided X'° Churches of the same denomination. The 

24 John Noble Gumming. 


decision was unanimous, & goes back to the several Pres- 
byteries for confirmation & will no doubt, be ratified next 
year. In consequence of this Union the Scotch TheoP 
Sem^ in this city will be transferred to Princeton, to- 
gether with the most select & valuable Theolog^ Li- 
brary in the U States. Funds exist in this local Sem^ 
towards the endowment of a professorcshi]p of Hebrew 
& Biblical Literature. Thus the Princeton Sem^ will 
have three professors, an important addition to their 
Library, indeed its very foundation, & an augmentation 
of Scholars, now 73, will probably in a few years exceed 
100. Had your late Rev. friend M"" [L]arned, been 
spared I sh*^ have proposed thro' you, the endowment of 
a scholarship for his Church, as soon as it sh'* be dis- 
embarrassed from the debts incurred for its erection & 
secure establishment of its Minister. It will be long I 
fear before his loss shall be supplied by as faithful, zeal- 
ous and popular a successor. God's will be done. Let us 
submit in silence. 

I hope that this example may influence the Episco- 
palians, that while the other predominant rival denomi- 
nation is all rallying under one government, and uniting 
their interests in one common cause, it behoves us not 
to be splitting & severing our resources & then estab- 
lish sickly Seminaries, without funds, & without learned 
professors, without which it is impossible to educate a 
learned & pious Ministry. From the characteristic per- 
tinacity of my Diocesan Bp. Hobart, in favour of an 
adopted opinion, I confess my hopes of any compromise 
or union, are very slender. Be the result what it may, 
my efforts have not been wanting to promote the dig- 
nity, harmony and Unity of my Church. But alas! I 
feel my obscurity at every step. Had I even a moderate 
share of wealth, & were I not condemned to toil for ex- 
istence, by mingling in Society, giving & receiving hos- 
pitalities my influence w*^ be more extensive & usefuU. 
Mine is but the single talent, w'' at least is not wrapped 
in a napkin. . . . 

From grave to gay. You have been charmed with 


M"" Cooper, an excellent actor, but far short of Cook. 
Kean who has been delighting the Atlantic States, made 
an unfortunate second engagement [alt Boston. Spoiled 
by his first visit, he felt mortified that the Theatre was 
less attended than during the winter. Engaged for 8 
nights he performed 2, & on the 3*^ even^' refused to en- 
act Richard 3'^ becaucse] the House was not full, & left 
Boston in dudgeon, execrated for his ingratitude. cHiow 
soon are his Laurels tarnished, for this capricious air will 
follow him & render him unpopular wherever he goes, at 
least in America. He can return, rich, & execrate the 
Yankees [for] penuriousness & want of taste. This con- 
duct will be a triumph to Cooper, whose friends regard 
him far superior to Kean. Novelty & the eclat with w" 
the latter commenced his debut on the Am[erican] 
Boards were highly favourable to him, cbnut good critics 
did not approve his style of acting w*" aimed too much 
at originality & did not accord with the spirit of his 

Wed^ [May] 30*\ By the arrival of Cap* Fosdick 
yest^ who spoke Cap* Holmes off Tortugas on the 20*'', 
I find that there has been a disastrous fire in N. Orleans. 
I must look cinDto some ofl&ce for the plot of y"" city to 
know whether it was near you. This morn^ tl s3aw green 
peas in market from Virg* the first at 2/6 half peck. 
Cheap enough buct thley c*^ have no flavour. The dif- 
fcerenlce of a single day is perceptible. Vecgletables can 
only be tasted in perfection, gathered the same day. I 
can get asparagus, occasionally, cut the same morn^ by 
paying extra, 3d to 6d a bunch. Some very fine at one 
shilling I purchased this morn^. When cleaning. Mama 
makes it a rule to give the good women she employs 
good dinners, it makes them grateful & always willing to 
come in preference whenever wanted. The same per- 
sons have cleaned for us ever since our living in Wall 
Street. We are in the full tide of successful experiment 
& the day most auspicious. Tomorrow the painters next 
day scrubbers & by Sat^ night I hope there will be an end 


to thcis] labour, unusually protracted on ace* of Aunt 
Pattys illness. 

New York, P* June, 1821 

My letter to my dearest daughter was despatched 
yest^ & I commence my usual diary the P* of the month, 
a rainy day, & the first of my Dividend, w*" now near 2 
has gone smoothly on leaving an interval to say that 
dear Mama has nearly done with cleaning, a perfect pur- 
gatory to me. My ofiices were cleaned yest^ the back one 
has not been purified for 12 years, the time of our resi- 
dence. To have seen your Mother not superintending 
but a[b]solutely labouring w^ astonish even you, & this 
morn^ she is as alert & busy with the painters, & to- 
morrow will be her straw mats as tho' it were an amuse- 
ment instead of toil. She is a wonderful women. The 
mats that we laid down when we first came here, in- 
deed I believe bought when at M*" Snows,^^ have been 
constantly in use & look almost as well as new. As Aunt 
Helen says nothing seems to wear out or waste in Sisters 
hands. This praise is due to the most notable house- 
keeper in our city. Many goodly nice housekeepers there 
are in this place, but few apply themselves personally, & 
think the act of superintending toilsome enough without 
extending a hand to assist. I have seriously proposed 
to Mama to break up housekeeping & go to lodgings w** 
w*^ not cost much more, being so few. She will not hear 
to it, on the contrary she says it w** kill her for want 
of employment. I only regret that I cannot get out of 
this old castle, w*" however has many comforts, altho 
intensely hot in Summer. . . . 

Monday [June] 4*". A most elegant day, the old 
King Geo. 3*^ birth day, when green peas were formerly 

25 In Longworth's New-York Directory, 1806, John Pintard and 
R[obert] Snow are both listed aa residing at 11 U[pper] Reed Street 
(present Reade Street). 


the greatest treat at the dinner given by the Colonial 
Governors. Indeed we have not had, but the bare ap- 
pearance of them at market this backward season. At 
1 o'clock the foundation of a new Episcopal Cliiurcnh 
is to be laid, near the State prison, by the Bishop agree- 
ably to the rites & ceremonies of our Church. It is to be 
names S*^ Lukes. The practice of naming Churches after 
the Evangelists, Apostles and godly persons, identifies 
the building, & place whenever mentioned. In Roman 
Catholic times some abuses might have taken place, and 
the Protestants of the Presbyterian Churches abstained 
from the practice. The consequence is that their 
Churches, in cities, are called after the names of the pas- 
tors, Doctor Masons Church, D'' Romeyns Church, or 
from the Streets, Murray Street, Cedar Street Churches, 
w** is awkward. 

I am glad to hear that the boys have commenced French 
& are cslo far pleased. Having the benefit of French boys 
as playmates they will very soon learn to parler. It will 
be quite gratifying to you to hear them & their sister 
chattering French. You do right to let Eliza dine at 
her school thro' the hot season, another & important 
benefit will result, she will learn the terms, &c. Menage, 
& the complimentary phrases of the dinner table, only 
to be acquired en famille. It is prudent in you not to 
indulge Pintard with a fair gun. . . . The accidents that 
almost monthly occur this way, by the negligent care- 
less use of guns by children is sufficient to deter parents 
from allowing them to go a gunning too early, & only 
in company with their plcaylmates. I was myself blown 
up with gunpowder at 11 years of age, at M"" Cutting's 
School & know what the danger is. 

(Tuesday [June] 5). Our Cousin Maria Montross 
came to town yesf the first time in 4 years. Dear little 
woman, she looks like a child & retains all the innocency 
tho the faded beauty as when you knew her. Her fate 


has been a hard one linked to an indolent worthless tho' 
good natured partner. . . . 

Wed^ 6*''. This morn= Cousin Maria went home after 
passing yest'' with Aunt Helen, who returned with her 
in the even^. Mama has kindly given her some cast 
clothes w'' will be useful to her children & for w** she 
was very grateful. Her brothers are not kind resenting 
the conduct of her husband without reflecting that it 
falls on her. . . . You are now my dearest daughter 
passing once more thro' your personal trials. Hard in- 
deed is the lot of females. How Providence however, 
protects your sex in a state of pregnancy from the pes- 
tilence that destroys all around. I think that I have be- 
fore told you, that hectic females are spared thro' their 
struggle, however, [it] may entail feebleness on their 
progeny. What little circumspection prevails in the 
choice of wives & husbands. The breed of all animals, 
else, is a subject of peculiar care. But money, not race 
or constitution is the universal criterion in the choice 
[of] a companion, on whom depends the health & vigour 
of the next generation. I overlooked Elizas musical 
improvement. Shall I purchase a piano, for her with 
the $100 for the portraits w'' I shall absolutely refund. 
Can you get a good second hand one at N. 0. for that 
price & let the D[octo]r draw on me at 10 days sight. 
... It will be gratifying to have an instrument at home 
for Eliza to practice, to retain what she ch]as learned & 
to acquire a facility of fingering, only to be learned by 
constcaint practice. . . . 

Friday [June 8,] 10 o'clock A. M. . . . Yest^ was the 
first stated meeting of the Managers of the A[merican] 
B[ible] S[ociety] when the annual Committees were 
chosen & a great deal of business done. I rose early to 
draft my minutes for recording, & to write my monthly 
epistle to good D"" Boudinot, w^ occupied, tho not so 
closely compacted as this, all the pages inside & out of 
a similar sheet, & w° besides going to market & buying 
our first mess of green peas 2/6 a half peck, I completed 
before 9. I have now to make out about 1 doz. notices 


& resolutions for Committees w*" will complete my Sec- 
retary duty for the month. . . . 

[Addressed : ] P' Steamship Fulton 

New York, Monday, IT*" June, 1821 

By the Steam Ship Rob* Fulton w'> sailed yest^ I 
launched a letter to my dearest daughter. It was a de- 
lightful sight to those who viewed it, to see, at the 
same time, 10 A. M., six Steam boats filled with passen- 
gers in the midst of several Ships outward bound, & a 
number of sail boats, all off the Battery steering for 
Sandy Hook. ... It being Whitsunday, agreeably to 
the rules of my Church, I attended the Altar, and prayed 
devoutly for blessings on your head and the protection 
of y"" dear family thro' the sickly season, now at hand. 

Tuesday June 12. Your letter of 12**^ May by M' 
Townsend is just rec*^. He will remain at Quarantine 
from yest^ 4 days & on Friday, probably, I shall see him. 
It is understood that his health has improved on the 

Friday [June] 15. After two oppressive sultry days, 
the wind changed yesf morn^ to N. E. with rain & chilly 
weather. I know not when I experienced so great a de- 
gree of lassitude as on Tuesday. . . . These cool days 
have been favourable to Mama & Sister who not for lack 
of other occupation, have undertaken to cleanse that 
Augean Stable my bookroom, w*" by successive accumu- 
lation had become so j&lled as to render it almost useless, 
and it was easier for me to refer to a booksellers shelves 
than to look for the same work in my own possession. 
Sister, who grows a little bookish & who had been tor- 
mented with hunting up my books, at length resolved 
to reduce chaos to system, & by evening order will be re- 
stored, the books dusted, & accessible. I have too many 
for a poor man, indeed for any one not professional, but 


a Library, says Montagne, is gratifying. Tho' you make 
little use of y"" books, it is pleasant, like the misers useless 
hoard to know that one possesses them. In all these 
operations I regard y"" never ceasing indusctriious Mother 
with astonishment. To see her laying out her work, de- 
scending into the cellar, selecting board & assisting with 
all the dexterity of a carpenter, in fitting up shelves, with 
an indefatigabi[li]ty that w*^ appal many a younger per- 
son, & an intelligence that plans all her work so as to 
commit no mistakes, surprizes even me who have been 
so long accustomed to her domestic virtues. Indeed 
Sister is an excellent contriver & handles a hammer & 
saw, with no small skill. ... On Wed^ under all the de- 
pression of extreme heat, I attended the monthly meet- 
ing of the Trustees of the Savings Bank, Our unparal- 
leled success renders it necessary to anticipate a new loan 
& subscribe largely to that offered by the Canal Comm" 
the 25*'' inst. To show the necessity of a bold bid, it was 
necessary to give a view of the state to our Capital & 
the operation of its concerns since its commencem* w*" 
I reduced to writing, to prevent mistakes in case of being 
challenged to authenticate my assertions. The result 
was honourable & the Trustees agreed to bid for 
$200,000, altho' some came predetermined to vote against 
it on account of the excessive high premium 121/0 P"" C* 
advance, at least, for 6 p"" C* stock. But it was mani- 
festly proved that the peculiar advantages in favour of 
our mode of business, receiving 6 & paying 5 p"" C* to- 
gether with the benefit arising from intermediate de- 
posits & drafts, without interest a premium of 25 or 
even 28,000 D'^ w*^ be redeemed in 9 months. After the 
pains I had taken to elucidate the subject, it was grati- 
fying to find that my labour was not in vain. This is 
not mentioned thro' vanity, but for y' satisfaction to 
learn that tho' humble in Society, your Fathers opinions 
are respected. Indeed it [is] a consolation to mark the 
progress of this respect, & the deference that is paid to 
my years & experience. Above all selfish considerations, 
whatever I undertake stands on the broad merit of gen- 


eral utility, & my associations being entirely with men 
wiser, better & loftier than myself, my little planet 
moves in an orbit enlightened & enlightening. When 
time with me shall be no more, may I be numbered 
among the benefactors of my day. 

Saturday [June] 16. 9 A. M. M'" Townsend called 
in. He is a very shadow. Speaking of the effect of Ice 
water w*" he used in N. 0. as a tonic by the Doctors 
advice, he says he immed^ felt the want of it on his 
passage, & by using ship water, his digestive powers be- 
came relaxed. He is in good spirits & is going to New 
Haven, & will probably recruit in his native air. Com- 
plimentary, probably, he speaks highly of you all & the 
children. Marsden he says is very independent & 
shrewd in his remarks. I enquired whether it were pos- 
sible that the Rev, Hooper Cummings, as I wrote had 
been published here, sh*^ have been contemplated as a 
President of y"" College. He told me that he had never 
heard of such a report, until his arrival in this city. I 
presume therefore it [is] only a squib thrown out by 
some indiscreet friend of M"" C. He speaks of the em- 
barrassed state of y"" Church's finances, & that the Rev. 
M"" Smith is come on a mendicant tour, northward. It 
will I fear be a sleeveless errand, for we are perfectly 
run down with subscriptions, & the Presbyterians are 
building a new Church the upper end of Broadway, from 
whom alone you can look for aid. Possibly some of our 
Merchants in connection with y"" City may do something. 
You can form no idea of the incessant importunities for 
Churches, Missions & benevolent institutions of every 
character. The Am. Bible S" has 2 Agents out, one in 
the Middle States, the Rev. M"- Stafford for AuxiP So- 
cieties, & M"" Dwight has just gone to Boston to solicit 
subscriptions to build a Depository. $10,000 will be 
raised in this city, & about $5 or 7 thousand more is 
looked for elsewhere. I cite this to show you that where 
all the money centers every one considers himself en- 
titled to ask relief. 

Monday [June] 18*^. Yest^ we all dined at Aunt 


Helens. Mama & Sister went out early, that is, during 
morning service, to pass a long day, after their confine- 
ment & incessant work, ever since the arrival of y'" friend 
M" Larned. I attended at Grace Church, to hear or 
rather see, an old acquaintance the Rev, Doctor Cochran, 
Professor of the College of Nova Scotia. We had been 
fellow boarders in my short bachelor days, in this city. 
D"" C. is a very elegant scholar of Trinity College Dublin, 
He came to this country shortly after the Rev^ War, 
when the city lay prostrate in ashes, its citizens ex- 
hausted by a long war, our College without students, & 
when political r[ancou]r was still unabated. Disgusted, 
without making proper allowances for our peculiar situ- 
ation, he went to Nova Scotia, where he has suceeded very 
well but frankly told me last ev^ at Doctor Hosacks, that 
he regretted his precipitate departure. He w** long since 
have [been] president of our College to which his 
Cattlainments eminently qualify him. After the resig- 
nation of Doctor Mason a few years since, I did what in 
me lay, to induce a call. But the fear, or some other 
cause, of popular jealousy against an English subject, 
predominated & Doctor Harris was chosen, a mild good 
man, but no scholar. Talents adapted to a Grammar 
School are widely short of the qualifications requisite for 
the Head of a College, Indeed we appear to be afraid 
of pre-eminent talents in this city, I mean the Episcopal 
portion, of w^ I am an unworthy member, I passed an 
agreeably [sic] hour with him last ev^ & revived an ac- 
quaintance of some 40 years standing. He was a very- 
handsome man, but the effects of years & an inhospitable 
climate are strongly indicated. 

12 o'clock. On stepping to Eastburns I was intro- 
duced to M" Walsh of Phil'' a small man, all intellect, but 
unhappily like myself defective of hearing in his left ear. 
I have remarked that most of my acquaintance, troubled 
with the malady are deaf in the left ear. What can be 
the cause? I was invited to dine at Hosacks with a circle 
of literati, But my hardness of hearing disqualifies for 
all social intercourse, having resolutely declined all in- 


vitations. My only resocurcie is sullen perseverance, w" 
I know & feel gives me the air of coldness & inhospital- 
ity. It sometimes affects my spirits, to be thus con- 
stantly retired, w*" inevitably tends to misanthropy, a 
dreadful fate. But there is no alternative, and I must 
submit. Were it not for the association kept up with 
the few Institutions to w'' I belong, my seclusion w** be 
as great as tho I lived on the Alleghany moun- 
tains. . . . 

Tuesday lO**" June, i/o p. 10. I have just performed 
the most iaxiplortant civil duty that will ever fall to my 
lot again, giving my vote for Delegates to revise oCur] 
State Convention in Aug* next. I voted for what is 
called the Independent Ticket, a selection of the best 
men of all parties, who w*^ consent to serve. The Tam- 
many Ticket is an entire party faction, intended to 
democratize our Constitution, solely with the view of 
retaining all power. But in every thing that regards the 
general weal of our highly favoured land, there is a re- 
deeming spirit that protects us from destruction. The 
events of the revoP war, U States Constitution, the late 
war, & the dignity exhibited last year by the State of 
Massachusets in reorganizing their Constitution, all 
prove that a superintending Providence has guided & 
will I trust continue to direct every thing that concerns 
the political happiness of the freest nation in the world, 
for the greatest good. I do not despair therefore but that 
the result of the ensuing Convention will be more favour- 
able than is anticipated, and that the sober sound sense 
that will be brought into that body will set at nought 
the combinations & shortsighted policy of a few red hot 
demagogues who w*^ sacrifice every thing to gratify their 
lust for power and office. 

Thursday [June] 2P*. I have just received a letter 
from y"" friend M'^ Larned, acknowledging rec* of the 
portrait of M"" L. and a package from Mama. She had 
just returned from Pittsfield, where M" Larned Sen"" by 
a fall had broken her wrist. She mentions hearing 
fcr]om you & has I presume answ**. M" Wier & her Sister 


M" Tracy ^^ are to be here the beginning of July on their 
way to the Springs. Mama & Sister will be attentive 
to them, but I presume it will not be expected that they 
sh*^ make their stay with us. You have no conception 
of the fatigue y"" Mother has passed thro' during the re- 
pairs of our old Castle. The masons have yet to point 
the chimnies & do some other jobs, but I hope this week 
will terminate her labours. Luckily the weather has been 
very temperate. This ev^' or night rather, acccoDrding to 
modern refinement a family party is to take tea with y'" 
Cousin Julia Weeks. . . . 

New York, Monday 25*"^ June, 1821 

Yesterday was our first hot day, Thermo [meter] at 
90°. Fortunately Mama has passed thro' the tedious 
operation of repairs & cleaning while the weather was 
temperate. Last night was the beginning of woe & rest- 
lesness. Our bedrooms are intolerable. On Thur[sda]y 
Mama & Sister took tea with her niece Julia Weeks, & 
the family party return the compliment next Thur[sda]y 
even [in] g before the extreme heat shall render visiting 
too uncomfortable. An approaching shower with thun- 
der & lightning kept Mama & Sister until 11, when 
they returned in a hackney. ... On Sat^ I rec*^ a letter 
from my protege Ja^ H. Clinton, dated Valparaiso 4**" 
March. He writes extremely well, & I was at the pains 
of transcribing an extract, w" will appear in this day 
Commercial & will reach you in the Spectator. His letter 
to his Father is much more particular & interesting, & 
his good advice to his brothers far transcends his years. 
He will make a very fine man if spared, but my Lord 
has been second in a Duel at Montevideo, between two 
Midshipmen w*" terminated without bloodshed. He is 
brave as Csesar, & pretty heady, so that the next thing 
probably will be some personal rencontre. Our fiery 
youths for lack of a common Foe, must manifest their 

26 Mrs. Wyer's sister-in-law, Mrs. Nathaniel Tracy (Mary Wyer). 
Newburyport, Mass., Vital Records, II, 485. 


mettle by killing each other, a dreadful relic of feudal 
barbarism. It has been well observed that if seconds 
were as fearful of the consequences as their principals, 
there would be but few Duels. Rash young men con- 
sult with as inexperienced hot bloods as themselves, who 
for the sake of seeing a little fun, and trying their friends 
spunk, risk the consequence of seeing one or both, breath- 
less on the field of combat, rushing into eternity with all 
their sins & follies on their heads. By way of filling up 
the blank of life, & killing ennui, on their tedious pas- 
sage, the young midshipmen of the Constellation pub- 
lished a weekly M.S. Gazette of which Master James was 
the Editor, & may account for his improvement in style, 
and his discrimination. . . . 

Friday [June] 29*''. I have just received intelligence 
of the death of my old friend John Gilford with an invi- 
tation to attend his funeral this afternoon. It was with 
sincere regret that I was obliged to make an apology in 
my letter of condolence to his family, as I was previ- 
ously engaged at a special meeting of the Trustees of 
the Savings Bank at 5 o'clock, being the only acting 
member of the Funding Committee. We missed making 
a contract for $200,000 Canal stock last Monday being 
overbid. An offer is to be made to one of the Albany 
Banks w'' took the loan, the subject is very important 
& the details are left to me to set forth. Sh** the terms 
be too high, our progress must be arrested, as we are re- 
stricted by law only to invest in the public funds, w^ 
are now so exorbitantly high as not to yield an interest 
of 5 p'' cent the am* of Interest stipulated to be paid 
to the Stockholders. Thus circumstanced I am obliged 
reluctantly to refrain from paying my last tribute of re- 
spect to the memory of my late good [friend], who is 
happily relieved I trust from his long lingering state of 
bodily suffering which has broken down his gigantic 
frame & iron constitution at last. You know how kindly 
he treated me while at Newark and my obligations to 
him of w^ I was never backward in making all due ac- 


knowledgments. Thus my dearest daughter one by one 
my early friends are departing, and sh*^ my life be spared 
a few short years longer, not one of those of my youth- 
ful intimates will remain. . . . What with my deafness 
& consequent abstraction, I cannot form new associations 
with any congeniality of feeling or affection. There is 
but little in common between youth & old age. ... It 
is only with our early companions that we can cordially 
associate. This was experienced in the highest degree 
of painful satisfaction in my last interview with an early 
acquaintance, whom I believe I mentioned in my last the 
Rev. Doc"" Cochran from Nova Scotia & who is departing 
for Canada. When I bade him a last and long farewell 
never again to meet on this side of eternity, my spirits 
sunk within me, and his benediction as we shook hands 
for the last time and exchanged our parting looks & sighs 
made a more solemn impression, at the twilight hour, 
than ever I experienced on parting with one, not an 
immediate connection. . . . 

Satur^ 30*\ . . . M'^ Chew is really amiable. She 
has been some time going to Virginia. When she returns 
Mama will repeat her visits. Not until yest^ did she get 
free from the endless toil of repairs &c., and our castle 
is quite renovated internally, & quite wax work. Sister 
inherits a large portion of y"" Mothers taste w** was beau- 
tifully displayed in the arrangement of a flower vase, on 
Thurs^ ev^ & w*" I absolutely took for artificial, so deli- 
cately disposed were the varieties of the season. Our 
cousins of the Brasher family were here & Mary, like 
myself, took the vase for artificial. You have with you 
the elegant French Vases, no doubt. This is saying 
everything in praise of Sisters taste, & all her chandelier 
& glass ornaments accord. 

Monday 2^^ July. Saturday night closed the 2*^ year 
of the Savings Bank. We took in from 167 Depositors 
$12,386.65. Our aggregate receipts for 2 years am* to 
$667,977.56. How far my most sanguine hopes, at the 
first institution of this Bank. Owing to the high price 
of Stocks, we have refused at least 50,000 D[ollar]s the 


last 6 months. I made my usual quarterly deposit of $3. 
each for y'" flock, & shall have to open another ace* by 
January I presume, which I must endeavour to make 
equal with Larneds, otherwise it will fall too far short of 
the other childrens. . . . 

Tuesday [July] 3*^ Yo p. 2 p. m. I must push my letter 
to get it out of the way, tomorrow being a Jubilee. At 
the meeting of the Chamber of Commerce this day, a 
Committee was appointed to report on the expediency 
of erecting an Exchange, commensurate with the increase 
of the commerce & population of this city. I hope it 
will be on an extensive scale to answer every purpose 
for 50 years, by w^ time the growth of this emporium of 
the Lakes & the Ocean will be such as to require a more 
central site than Wall Street or its vicinity and I have 
little doubt that our present City Hall will be adopted 
for the purpose & the purchase money applied towards 
erecting courts of Judicature higher up. For this city is 
desticned] to become infinitely larger than London. I 
have lived to see wonders, but nothing compared with 
its future growth. N. Orleans, but for its malignant 
clime, w*^ rival it. 

Wed'' 4*'' July, 45**' An^ of Am. Independence. After 
a hard rain Monday p. m. & night, it has cleared off 
quite cold. Therm° at 67° at 9 in our parlour. We were 
obliged to keep the windows down. I never experienced 
so cool at 4*'', w^ is very favourable to the military & the 
multitudes that flock in with increasing numbers an- 
nually to see Independence. Changing my dress, & ap- 
pearing in my Sunday Suit, I sallied forth at 10, to de- 
light my old eyes with beholding the numerous booths all 
round the Park, filled with every sort of eatables & drink- 
ables, fruits of every tropic to scour the entrails of the 
country lads & lasses that filled every bench in rapid 
succession to partake of the good things of this extensive 
world of ours. One might literally have walked on the 
heads of the Sovereign people that crowded Broadway 
from the Batteiy to the City Hall, and the Park was 
thronged to excess with men, women & children, & 


strange to tell, in all this multitude I recognized but 4 
acquaintances, recalling the wonderful change that has 
taken place, in celebrating this national Jubilee, in this 
city, since 1784, the year after the peace, when about a 
dozen of us, at the most, called for a bowl of punch to 
drink prosperity to the U States, at the old Coffee House. 
I returned home with a heart elated & thankful for all 
the mercies with w'' we are blessed. 

Thur'' 5^^. Our national jubilee terminated as tran- 
quil as usual, very much to the honour of our character 
and credit of our police. A few honest Irishmen who 
have floated over in cork jackets, leaving their neck- 
cloths (Halters) behind them, and who are destined in 
this State to enjoy unbounded liberty, were alone dis- 
posed to show their feats at boxing among the booths, & 
took it very hard that the constables prevented them 
from kicking up a row. As I walked up B'^way towards 
sunset, I c*^ not but contemplate the dregs & scum of 
creation who lingered round the whiskey with disgust 
& contempt. To think that men [unnfit to associate with 
the menials of Civil Society sh^ be considered entitled 
to all thee] privileges of freeholders, and to answer party 
purposes be placed on a footing with thcos]e who are 
rivetted like the Oaks to the soil, and bound to abide 
the consequences of unbridled licentiousness. The Buck 
tail party has gained a decided predominance in the late 
election for a Convention, tho' I trust that all the vision- 
ary amendments of political enthusiasts will not take 
place, and that there will be a redeeming principle in 
the sound sense of the country members, to save us from 
destruction. But why distract you & myself with poli- 
tics. To reach Gov"" Clinton, & exclude him for only the 
last year from office, an effort will be made to make the 
election of Governor annual. 

9 o'clock. . . . We passed a retired day and drank y"" 
health in a glass of American Wine, Groseille, made by a 
M"" Dwyer of Providence, who cultivca]tes 40 Acres of 
Currant trees & expects in a few years to make 200 Pipes 
a year. To render it as dry as possible gives it a sub acid 


taste, partaking much of the colour & flavour of Rhenish, 
but not very agreeable to us. However to give it a 
chance I send for a bottle at 75 cents, too much to make 
it an object of domestic manufacture w*" must be good 
& cheap to succeed. Upon the whole Madeira & Claret 
are good enough for me. In the use of either I am ex- 
tremely moderate. . . . 

New York, Satur^ I'"" July, 1821. 9 A. M. 

My letters to you my dearest daughter are in some 
degree the annals of my obscure life. Stepping to the 
Coffee House a few minutes ago M"" Nich^ Rutgers asked 
me whether I had rec"^ any intelligence from Newark. 
Replying no, He said that he was just informed that our 
good friend Gen. Cummings was no more, that he 
dropped down instantly dead in his field, yesf. I know 
not when I have suffered such a shock. You know our 
long & mutual friendship, & how very kind he was to 
me in the days of my affliction while at Newark. I men- 
tioned in my last the decease of my other kind friend 
John Gifford. This was an event long expected, but the 
sudden call of Gen. Cummings, who was in apparent per- 
fect health, is a shock indeed. . . . 

M"" Russell tells me that the Phoebe Ann is to [be] 
coppered & to sail the 10*'' Oct° next when M''^ Chew & 
family will probably return. It shall not be my fault 
if Sister does not accompany her. . . . 

1/2 p. 2. Before closing for the day let me inform you 
of the arrival of y"" friend M" Weir and her sister from 
Boston. They are at the Mansion House (lately M"* 
Edgars) in B%ay. Sister has been to see them & they 
are invited with M" Chew, Aunt Helen &c. to tea to- 
morrow ev^. I have just arranged with Col. Varick, to 
cross over tomorrow to attend my good friend Gen. Cum- 
mings funeral. . . . 

Monday, 9*^ July. By arrangement I crossed over to 
Powlas Hook & breakfasted with Col. Varick who has his 


summer residence there, & rode with him & his lady to 
Newark. I went to Church with Miss Gifford, & took 
my dinner with her mother, as some return for not being 
able to attend her father's funeral. At 3 I went to Gen. 
Cummings, having had a written invitation. The cir- 
cumstances of his decease are, on Friday about 5 p. m. he 
rode to see his people at hay making, where he staid not 
long. On returning he rode up to his farm house, & 
asked his farmers wife if she had any laudanum in the 
house to which she replied no. He dismounted put his 
hand to his breast, and said, "My God what is coming 
over me," went into the house, laid himself on the bed, & 
expired in 5 minutes without uttering a single word more. 
He was aged 70 years. His body was much bloated. 
Dying in full health & was kept too long. I c** not recog- 
nize the features w" improperly were exposed to spec- 
tators, & notwithstanding an abundance of ice, was of- 
fensive. Here was want of judgment. The funeral was 
large beyond even M"" Boudinots, being Sunday & all the 
adjacent country attended. A Funeral sermon was de- 
livered by the Rev. D*" Richards from Eclesiastes. In the 
day of prosperity rejoice, in the day of adversity con- 
sider. Well adapted no doubt to the ideas of the Pres- 
byterians, & certainly an excellent discourse. I got home 
about 8 & found our parlour full. M" Wier, M^ & M" 
Tracy, sister & very much like M""^ Larned, M" Chew & 
Sister Miss Duer, Aunt Helen & M^ C[raig] & Davis & 
M"" Raplje, a friendly bucktail. Every thing was as bril- 
liant & excellent as you c** fondly wish, for your sake my 
dearest daughter. M" Weir looks very well, but says 
that y' friend M'^ L. does not enjoy or improve in health. 
M" Chew says that she will go down by the Ohio, if a 
party can be made up, as she wishes to take her mother 
with her. M""^ C. is very thin & looks like a shade along- 
side y"" embonpoint sister who is as round as a Robin & 
conducted her ceremonials in my fond eye, with great 
propriety, but y"" Mother justly observes, that it destroys 
all sociability, these modern tea parties with 2 or 3 
courses of refreshments unless where plenty of domestic 


assistance abounds. All retired at 10 . . . M" W & 

sister go for the Springs this afternoon & return in about 
a month, when Mama may probably see them at the 
Steamboat Hotel, New Haven where we shall go the last 
Thur^ 26*^ inst. unless she sh*^ think it best to accept 
Aunt Pattys urgent invitation to pass a few weeks at 
Princeton. The one or other will please God take place. 
I hope New Haven, where I w'" rather pay board for a 
month, than intrude so long on friends. You know my 
mind on this score. The Phoebe Ann is to be up this 
morn^ & tomorrow I suppose I shall see M"" Metcalf, 
when we will talk over the portraits w*" I shall be happy 
to present to you. . . . 

Tuesday [July 10,] 41/2 P- m. Before going to the 
Historical S° I am happy to mention that the Boxes 5 in 
number were all got over safe from Brooklyn, by [n]oon, 
to the great delight of Sister. The plants tho' sickly, are 
all alive, the Childcren] on the passage having picked off 
all the leaves. She has pruned them & watered [tlhem & 
I trust after all your trouble will revive, as some small 
compensation for the plague that ill judged commission 
has caused. Cap* Holmes just called to say how do do & 
when discharged promises to visit us. He has quite fat- 
tened at Quarantine. He says there is a rumour that the 
Yellow fever has appeared at Balt[im]o[re] very early 
a rumour w*" has excited some sensation & makes me 
apprehensive about y"" safety. Doctor & M" Hunter, 
from Wasdiin]gton, called this morning & sat an hour 
but c*^ not take dinner with us. M""^ H. looked very well. 
The sight & probably last interview with old friends is 
rather a melancholly pleasure. M" Hunter ^'^ & sister 
M" Cuthbert are twins now 60, 2 years younger than 
myself. Their sister M" Rush & myself are of the same 

Wed'' 11*'' July. . . . The bonnets are sent to be 
cleaned, & they shall be neatly trimmed & forwarded by 

27 Mrs. Andrew Hunter, Mrs. Alexander Cuthbert, and Mrs. Benja- 
min Rush were daughters of Richard and Annis (Boudinot) Stockton. 
T. C. Stockton, The Stockton Family of New Jersey (1911), pp. 45, 


Cap' Holmes, by w^ time I suppose they can be worn. 
How dark the sun turns them with you. By the morn- 
news from Balt° a bulletin of their B[oar]d of Health 
confirms the rumour of malignant fever having appeared 
the last of June in the lower parts of that city. I shall 
be all anxiety on y"" account esp^ the Doctors. I hope he 
is very prudent as to avoiding fatigue, or excessive fa- 
tigue in the discharge of his duty. It will be flattering 
to hear that he possesses due weigcht &] influence at 
the B*^ of Health, w^ his suavity is likely to secure. D"" 
Hosack had great & deserved merit, but his overbearing 
dogmatic manner gave such umbrage as to forbid his 
ever being re-instated. Plain folks who mean well, do 
not like to be treated contemptuously, and there is a 
mode of enforcing what is right without giving offence. 
I sincerely hope that in the conflict of opinions, which 
must arise as well in, as out of the Board, that the Doc- 
tors good sense will at least secure the general sentiment 
in favour of his opinions & official conduct. Do you ever 
coop chickens to fatten. We have been very successful 
this season. I think that I have before mentioned a 
simple mode of feeding them with Indian meal mixed 
with buttermilk, & a little fine sand to assist digestion, 
no water. We have kept young chickens, w" are very 
hard to fatten, 10 days, & their meat is superlatively 
white & tender. Try this experiment w'' cannot fail, per- 
haps however buttermilk [is] not to be had with you, in 
w^ case plain milk, turned sour, will answer. 

Thurs^ 12 July. M"" Griswold who married Miss Gum- 
ming informed, on enquiring, that it was a fact that the 
Rev. Hooper Gumming had rec** a call to supply y"" 
Ghurch, from Gen. Ripley, w^ he had declined on the 
dissuasion of his father. Very happily for both of you. 
He is an elegant preacher undoubtedly, but of a consti- 
tutional vivacity that w*^ not have resisted the gaieties 
of N. Orleans. I really felt rejoiced on hearing this in- 
telligence. As to his qualifications to be at the head of 
a Seminary of education, I sh** suppose them too slender 


to give respect or reputation, without which a College 
w*^ decline. Indeed the duties of a principal or president 
are sufficiently arduous without being blended with 
those of a parochial minister. . . . 

Your cousin John Brasher who was to have taken 
Coffee with us on Sundaj^ even^ was prevented by indis- 
position. . . . M"" Metcalf has cnot] yet called on me, or 
does he wcalit for my calling on him? I know not whcere: 
he cd]wells. When I see him wee: shall decide respecting 
our portraits. I wish [I] c*^ with propriety emplocy] 
Waldo or Jarvis, but really $300 appears too mucdi] for 
such objects. . . . 

New York, Friday 13 July, 1821 

My letter to my beloved daughter of yest^ mentioned 
the indisposition of her cousin J. P. Brasher. Last even^ 

1 called to see him, he had a violent fever, attended with 
great prostration & loss of appetite, his tongue was not 
bad, & his eye brilliant. His situation is somewhat criti- 
cal but I hope not dangerous. On sending to enquire this 
morn^ he rested better last night. Doctor Post had vis- 
ited him & approved the prescriptions of D"" Ogden, but 
D"" P. does not bleed, nor his pupils. Hosack is a proper 
drawcansir. I cannot but think it right in these higher 
grades of fever. This even^ I hope to find him better. 
Having some business at the Branch bank, I met M" 
Chew & family descending the steps yest^ proceeding 
toward Virginia. She tells me she expects to be absent 

2 months w** will bring her back about the period when 
she will be thinking of returning home. 

21/^ p. m. M'' Metcalf called at noon, but Mama & 
Sister were too much occupied to see him. I took him 
upstairs & told him, as was his due, that we were much 
pleased with his portraits. He asks 40 D[ollar]s to take 
ours, & if Mama has no objections I will get her & Sister 
to sit next week. Mine can be taken at more leisure, as 
he may require all their time before they leave town. 

Sat^ 14. Sister & myself called last ev^ to see your 


cousin whose fever has abated but he is very languid. I 
confess that I felt alarmed the evening before. This 
morning he is still better. My namesake is a very 
amiable youth, & being the only representative of his 
family I am much interested in his fate. He is very deli- 
cate & partakes of his poor mothers hectic constitution. 
Sh^ he be spared, now that he is done growing he may 
acquire more muscular strength, but I always contem- 
plate him as a plant of short duration. . . . 

Tuesday [July] 17"". Last evening I called, also 
Mama & Sister. Doctor Post pronounces John out of 
danger. He begins to take chicken broth, is very weak, 
poor boy, he has no stamina. A fatal instance of suicide 
occurred at the lunatic Assylum at Bloomingdale. M" 
Spencer who attempted this act a few weeks past at Al- 
bany, was sent down to the Assylum, where she had a 
parlour room & attendant at $10 a week, very genteel & 
comfortable accommodations & diet. She was closely 
attended, every implement being withheld. On Sunday 
afternoon she escaped from her attendant, went up 
stairs, & got on the roof, the door to which is open, to 
allow visitors to ascend the Cupola from which there 
is a superb view, and she precipitated herself from over 
the battlements & dashed her brains out on the pave- 
ment. I think I mentioned her unfortunate case in a 
former letter. She was daughter in law of Chief Justice 
Spencer, & her malady was religious melanchoUy. A 
dreadful catastrophe. . . . 

Wed^ [July] IS'*". Yesterday I hope was a crisis 
with y"" cousin. Mama staid there last night & will con- 
tinue thro' this day. In the ev° I was there & saw John. 
His eye was very bad, but he was going thro' a profuse 
perspiration. A very amiable young friend of his D"" 
Ogden attends him with great fidelity. He told me that 
the symptoms were more favourable but that when y"" 
Mama was sent for he had a slight hiccough with every 
appearance of sinking. ... I went up to see him, his eye 
is better, but he is extremely prostrated. Mama was re- 
posing & Cousin Polly begged me to intreat her to re- 


main, w^ I did & she consents. John is more tractable 
under her management & took his medicine regularly at 
her solicitation. Your good Sister is preparing some 
calves foot jelly to nourish him . . . 

Thurs^ 19*'^. The state of Johns health is more fa- 
vourable. ... I saw Doctor Post last evening, who is 
a very cold retired character, says little & that not en- 
couraging, but John is evidently better this morn^. His 
Sister Julia Weeks returned yest^, in great agony, for she 
is much attached, as she ought to be, to her only 
brother. . . . 

On returning last evening I found the Doctors letter 
of 20 June, left I presume by M"" Geer, who pencilled 
marked, Kensington Hotel, w^ being 4 miles out of town 
unless he sh** come in on business, I shall not be able 
to see & tell him about M" Wier. ... I was relieved by 
the Doctor's advice of the favourable state of the public 
health of y^ city. . . . With the blessing of God, & an 
uncommon mild season hitherto we enjoy redundant 
health. The late alarm in Bait** has revived the endless 
discussion of importation & non importation. The B** 
of Health has been grossly & rudely charged by the Phil- 
adelphians with suppressing the truth of yellow fever 
having raged to an alarming degree in Bancker S*' last 
year. A fact unknown to us, & the charge originating 
with our home brewed physicians, in opposition to Doc- 
tor Hosack. These discussions are at large in the Ev^ 
Post, w^ reach your printers & from whom you can 
doubtless obtain them. 

(9 o'clock) Your good mother is quite refreshed with 
her nights rest, and a dish of our always excellent am- 
brosia. In roasting & making Coffee we excell. Mama 
will return to her patient. I have just written a line to 
M"" Geer at Kensington House, giving tidings about M" 
Wyer & her intended return to this city, & have asked 
the favour of his calling on us. In my walk yest^ P. M. 
I met with my friend Thomas Eddy Gov"* of our Hos- 
pital and to whom the new Lunatic Assylum is princi- 
pally owing. From him I learned the following circum- 


stances of the fate of M" Spencer. She was so well on 
Saturday as to be cheerful & went into the apartment of 
Cap* Gardner,^^ on one side of the Hall her room being 
opposite, and told M" Gardiner that if she pleased, she 
w*^ make some Ice cream. The establishment being 
abundantly supplied, even with luxuries, M" G. to please 
her procured the materials, and she made & partook of 
an excellent cream. On Sunday morn^ she walked about 
the Hall, her attendant always present. She walked into 
the Superintendants room, & whilst there her attend* 
stepped into M""^ Spencers Chamber. On M''^ S. going 
back to the Hall, observing no one there, she slipped up- 
stairs. In a few minutes her attend* went into M""^ 
Gardiners room, not seeing her, went into another room 
& returned & told Cap* G. that she was missing. He 
immed^ went into the Court Yard in quest of her, next 
concluding that she had gone upstairs he went in search 
of her & found her hat & shoes at the foot of the stairs 
leading to the roof, w*" excepting the gables has a ballus- 
trade all round. He went towards the East gable end, 
but she was not there. A half witted patient in the 
Yard called out to Cap* G. & said that she was behind 
one of the chimnies towards the west end. Hearing the 
remark, she immed^ sprang forward & precipitated her- 
self from this giddy height & was instantly killed by the 
fall. . . . She was a handsome amiable lady, & her hus- 
band L* Spencer of the Navy a mild excellent young 
man. I tho't these particulars might be useful to the 
Doctor. I am very much gratified with your disposition 
of Eliza at an entire French Boarding School, where, & 
where alone, she will acquire domestic phrases, & I hope 
correct manners if the family be of the old school. What 
pains were taken in my childhood to teach me to take 
up & lay down my knife & fork, to use the latter, make 
no crumbs nor soil the table cloth, speak when spoken 
to, & make my obeissance on entering a room, approch- 

-8 Laban Gardner, Superintendent of the Asylum. Pliny Earle, His- 
tonj, Description aiid Statistics of The Bloomingdale Asylum for the 
Insane (N. Y., 1848), p. 11. 


ing & retiring from friends & all the nameless &c*^ that 
distinguish civilized children from clowns. I do not mean 
Kentucky men. In all these particulars I hope she will 
improve to your satisfaction. The excursion & sight of 
y"" friends has I hope given a fillip to your spirits, my 
dearest daughter. Our boys too have had an excursion 
to the Balize, to be devoured no doubt, with musquitos, 
fine fun, but any thing by way of a change. I sh*^ like 
to have seen the young travellers for the first time on a 
voyage without their parents. . . . 

Friday [July] 20*''. Your cousin thank God is out of 
danger The Phoebe Ann is undergoing a thor- 
ough repair & will be coppered, when she will sail faster 
than ever. . . . 

Saturday 2P*. Mama returned to dinner yest^ leav- 
ing y"" cousin much better. I called in the evening & 
found him sensibly improved. There will I hope be no 
occasion for Mama to sit up again. Going to market has 
prevented my call this morn^ but I shall send to enquire, 
after breakfast. We had a refreshing rain yest'' from 
8 to 2 w^ cleared off with a fine cool northwester. Our 
summer has been as cool as the one 5 years ago when 
the low temperature was ascribed to the spots in the sun, 
& floating ice bergs on the coast. I could not but remark 
this morn^ the great abundance of fine vegetables with 
which our market is sucppnlied. What used to be rare 
is now redundant, owing to the great exertion of our 
A[gr]icultural & horticultural societies. The latter it w** 
appear to me ought to be established with you. ... On 
Wed^ I purpose going to New Haven to attend the first 
examination of the TheoP Students, of our Gen[eral] 
Sem^. A gratuitous semvice, but I trust not over offi- 
cious on my part. . . . 

New York, Friday 4*'^ [sic for 3rd] Aug*, 1821 

Yesterday, my letter ^^ was despatched by post to my 
beloved daughter. Today Sister is moving about, pack- 

29Pintard's letter of August 2, 1821, is missing from the Society's 


ing up her clothes for an excursion tomorrow, I believe 
to Oyster bay. ... I have just concluded my monthly 
epistle to D"" Boudinot giving him inform" of the business 
of the Managers of the A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety] 
at their meeting yesterday. 

Sat^ 5*^ [sic for 4th]. . . . Happily a fine fresh north- 
erly has abated the extreme heat, w'' at best was oppres- 
sive eno[ugh]. Yest*' I was so debilitated & languid 
towards night that I apprehended I was going to take 
sick. Mama gave me some peppermint & laudanum, on 
going to bed, w^ relieved the pain in my lower abdomen, 
& afforded me the first nights rest I have enjoyed for 
more than a week. Tonight I shall take a pill & lie by 
in the morn- & hope to clear out & get well, w** will 
permit Mama & Sister on Monday afternoon to go to 
Rockaway, the present destination, for all the outposts, 
in consequence of the warm weather are crowded to 
excess. Rob*^ Weeks called yest^ & says there is no foot- 
hold at Oyster bay. Y"" Cousin John mends slowly his 
fever still hangs about him. Y"" sister is getting bravely 
but is very feeble. Country alone can brace her. Mama 
is the wonder of creation, no hired housekeeper w'' work 
as hard as she does, & she is never sick, tho sometimes 
borne down with fatigue. I believe industrious people 
feel less the effect of heat than the idle. I often wonder 
at the paviours & sawyers who are more exposed to the 
reverberation of the heat than any other people yet ex- 
perience it less. Their temptation is drinking cold water, 
of the fatal effects of w*" several instances have occurred 
this week, notwithstanding to notices pasted on every 
public pump. 

Monday [August] 6*^. Yest^ Sunday. ... I dined 
at D"" Hosacks in company with Gov"" Clinton, the first 
time in a year almost that I have spent a social hour in 
his company. His political foes, & deadly they are, exult 
that he is completely prostrated, nor shall I wonder if 
he be obliged to retire from public life. He has acquired 
perhaps, his full share of fame. When time shall have 


modified the asperity of faction, His name will be asso- 
ciated indeed identified with the g[ran]d canal, a stu- 
pendous effort that will immortalize him. Like Fulton, 
Altho' not the first projector, his perseverance & success 
will secure the praises of a more liberal Age. I think it 
probable sh*^ he retire to Newtown, that I shall get a 
small hamlet in the vicinity of my friend, and philoso- 
phize the remaining hours of our lives in pleasant intel- 
lectual intercourse. He is most pleasant in retirement, 
& we are much used to each others freedoms. It requires 
great intimacy, knowledge of character & mutual indul- 
gence to joke freely. Fools cannot bear repartee, and 
apply that personally w'' is intended as general. But the 
play of wit, little as I can boast, has to my regret & sor- 
row proved oftentimes mortifying. The spark elicited 
will sometimes unfortunately enkindle a flame that was 
never intended. My increasing deafness & abstraction 
from society stand me in lieu of discretion, of w*" alas! 
my stock is very slender. My office is undergoing some 
very accommodating repairs. There is a time says Solo- 
mon for all things, for planting Trees & for plucking 
them up. The rage for setting out the Spiral Lombardy 
poplar has settled into a universal extirpation of that 
once favourite avenue tree. A sorry tree at best, & a 
mortifying emblem of the short lived prosperity of many 
of our rural squires. Those before my office were girdled 
& cut down, two years past, & we have been literally 
carbonaded thro the baking midday rays en** to blister 
one. At last we are getting inside shutters & outside 
blinds that will keep us somewhat cooler & at any rate 
skreen my poor eyes from the intolerable glare that has 
almost ruined them. Another year, if doomed to live 
here I must get outside blinds to our third story, w" will 
afford some relief. Why have we delayed thus long, is 
entirely Mama's mistaken economy. 

(1 o'clock) An incident has just occurred w'' may 
serve for a digression. At dinner yest^ the Commence- 
ment of Columbia College was among other topics, & I 
exhorted Gov"" Clinton to walk in the procession, altho' 


not enjoined, still a courtesy. A dinner has lately been 
given, possibly at my suggestion, to draw out the friends 
of Belly lettres. On remarking to D'" Hosack that I had 
never seen the inside of the College since its being re- 
paired, that from the President to the Trustee the com- 
monplace civility of an invitation had never been ex- 
tended to me, & expressing myself perhaps too keenly 
at this cold neglect of one who had done his full share 
towards promoting the cause of science & literature in 
this city, in w'' Hosack concured apologizing that those 
at the head of affairs were untrained in those courtesies 
characteristic of the old school. At the suggestion of 
D"" Hosack no doubt. President Harris sent a note of 
invitation to the dinner at I214, with an admission 
Ticket to the Commencement tomorrow. I declined the 
honour of the former, & wrote a line of thanks to the 
Doctor, that it was doubtless owing to his suggestion, 
that this tardy invitation had been sent, w*" I c** not ac- 
cept, nor any perchance similar favours, in future. That 
it was mortifying to a sexagenary to see Shakespeares 
maxim verified "The learned pate clucks to the golden 
fool." So let it be, your fathers services will be grate- 
fully remembered, when the very names of the golden 
pageants of the day are sunk in oblivion. But let me 
not be judged envious. Gold has its worth when it ele- 
vates muckworms above their insignificant level. 

Tuesday [August] 7*^, 12 o'clock. About 10, a mes- 
sage was sent to me that M"* Scudder ^° was dying. I 
left my ofiice at 11. He was no more. I did all in my 
power to console his family. After seeing Mama over 
to Brooklyn, I shall go up to render such services as 
may be required. His muscular strength was such that 
at 8, he desired a carriage to be sent for to take a ride. 
He departed however, without a struggle, happily re- 
lieved from his sufferings, altho' externally cool, he was 
consumed by a raging inward heat. He had indulged 

30 John Scudder, proprietor of the American Museum. There is an 
article about him and his museum, by "An American," in the [N. Y.] 
Commercial Advertiser, Aug. 17, 1821. 


too much in excitements to sustain him when he was 
busily employed, by w^ means he broke down his con- 
stitution & finally has fallen earlier than in a course of 
nature he ought to have done. I have no doubt how- 
ever that the preparation of his great Turtle, was the 
primary cause of the contamination of his lungs. 

Wed^ 8'\ At 3 yest-" Mama & Sister sat off for Rock- 
away, where they arrived before sunset. It was a de- 
lightful pleasant afternoon. I have every confidence 
that bathing & sea air will restore Sister's health & tran- 
quilize y"* Mother's nerves w'' have been in a constant 
excitement ever since April. I called on M" Scudder to 
see what services might be in my power to render. But 
I found a bevy of female gossips preparing scarves, with 
all the earnestness of attention & good cheer usual 
among this class of persons. Had I been consulted I 
sh** have discountenanced the giving scarves except to 
the clergy & physicians But there is a vulgar pride of 
ostentation to be gratified of course I made no remark. 
At 4 this aft.noon previous to the Funeral at 6 the 
Will is to be opened. I can only act as an advising 
Executor & take no charge of or assume any responsi- 
bility as to the money concerns. I shall expect nor re- 
ceive any compensation for any discharge of duty under- 
taken merely to protect my poor friends Scudders chil- 
dren. His daughter Eliza about the age of yours is very 
much affected. He was a too indulgent parent. His 
oldest son John about 14, at Grammar School is remark- 
ably smart. After this visit I went to Cousin Polly 
Abeels, Mary having returned in the morning from 
Oyster bay leaving John so well as to talk of coming 
back next week, w*" will be very imprudent. . . . 

Thur^ [August] 9*". A gentleman who went in the 
Stage with Mama & returned yesf" informed me that 
she had obtained a comfortable large room & was very 
well accommodated. Aunt Helen expects to go on Sat'' 
by whose return I shall hear particularly. The weather 
has been very temperate all this week & still continues 
cool. Yesterday aft.noon I attended the remains of my 


poor friend Scuclder. Several scientific characters paid 
their last mark of respect to his memory & a vast con- 
course of all sorts, for he was universally known. This 
afternoon at 4 the Executors will meet to qualify & make 
the needful arrangements for the protection & care of 
the Museum. My long acquaintance with M"" S. & his 
importunity induced me to befriend his family. A report 
is received of the decease of Bonaparte on the 6*^ May 
last. It is probable as he had been indisposed by every 
former intelligence. A consummation no doubt desire- 
able to one whose race was run & who must have led a 
painful existence perched on the top of S* Helena, with- 
out Hope of relief, or a prospect of the termination of 
his captivity except by Death. The world will be inun- 
dated with anecdotes of his last hours. It w*^ be an im- 
portant history, that of his own life written by himself. 
There will be spurious histories en"* by bookmakers to 
gull the pubhc. 

Our papers have lately teemed with lucubrations on 
the subject of the unfortunate Andre who was executed 
2'^ Oct. 1780 at Tappan, as a spy, in connection with 
Arnolds treasonable attempt to betray West Point to 
the British. His remains are to be removed to England. 
The British Consul Buchanan, in giving eclat to the 
event, has excited the overboiling patriotism of those 
who consider themselves the exclusive guardians of the 
public weal. M"" Buchanan has been indiscreet, but the 
invections that have appeared disgrace the character of 
our nation. I have been invited to attend, next week, 
the disinterment. Having, as I think you have been told, 
prepared a dissertation in defence of Gen. Washingtons 
character, w'' was read before the Historical S° in 1817, 
the facts of Major Andres apprehension &c. are very 
familiar to me, & I wish to converse with such of the 
inhabitants of Tappan as may have witnessed the execu- 
tion on some points relating to the objects of my essay. 
I believe that I shall accompany the party. 


[August, 1821] 31 

[7 or 8 lines missing] Unawed by any threat [MS. 
torn] was anxious to view the locality, to supp[ort] 
[MS. torn] our illustrious Washington, of having caused 
the Gibbet on w" the unfortuncate] Andre was executed 
to be erected, in his sight several days, before his execu- 
tion, cl] shall however accompanied by Doctor Hosack 
make an excursion for thee pur3pose in the course of a 
few days, as soon as some accouchemens that [he] is ex- 
pecting are over. Consul Buchanan,^- with the zeal & 
ardour of an Ircishlman, has probably given unnecessary 
excitement by an intention as is scaid] to have had an 
imposing procession in honour of Major Andres memory, 
aid] which will be very right & proper in his own coun- 
try, but w*^ give offence in [this.] Still however the 
mob that was held up in terrorem was quite unjust[ifi]able 
& disgraceful. To avoid giving further umbrage, and 
to prevent any trick being played by removing the relics 
prior to this day, and then at the expense of humanity 
to have turned the laugh on the Consul, He went to Tap- 
pan last Thur[sda]y afternoon & on rrid[a]y 

"The British Consul with several gentlemen, accompanied by the 
"proprietor of the ground & his labourer commenced their operations 
"at 11 o'clock A. M. by removing the heap of stones that had sur- 
"rounded & partly covered the grave. Great caution was observed in 
"taking up a small peach tree, that was growing out of the grave as the 
"Consul stated his intention of sending it to his Majesty to be placed 
"in one [of] the Royal Gardens. Considerable anxiety was felt lest 
"the coflBn sh** not [be] foun[d], as various rumours existed of its hav- 
"ing been removed many [years ag]o. However, when at the depth of 
"three feet the labourer came [to it. The] lid was broken in the centre 
"& had partly fallen in, but was [kept up by resting on] the skul[l.] 
"The lid being raised up the skeleton [of the brave Andre appeared 
"entire;] bone to bone eac[h] in its pla[ce.]33 

31 Thjg letter is badly mutilated, about a quarter of each sheet being 
irregularly torn away from both top and bottom. 

32 James Buchanan's own "Narrative of the Exhumation of the Re- 
mains of Major Andre," dated British Consulate, New York, August, 
1833, was printed in The [N. Y.] Albion, Dec. 14, 1833, new series, 
volume I, no. 50, p. 398. 

33 The rest of this account may be found in The New-York Evening 
Post, for Monday, Aug. 13, 1821 ; reprinted in the New-York Gazette 
& General Advertiser, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 1821. 


[17 or 18 lines of MS. missing] Tappan & the adjacent 
[MS. torn] were preparing [MS. torn] the ceremony. 
The Consul [MS. torn] reasons for his conduct to be 
read by M' Lansing in Church to his Ccong]regation, & w^ 
will appear in this Evenings Post. 

[Friday] 17 Aug*. A letter from Mama on Monday 
mentions that she & Sister [arne very well, the latter quite 
recruited & in good spirits. We have endured extreme 
[h]eat this week yest^ the hottest this year. I am very 
moderate as to diet c&] exercise. I dined on mush & milk 
yest^ & shall again today, having no appetite for animal 
food. My health is quite good not experiencing any 
[thning but the debilitating languor that always pros- 
trates me. How much I think of my dearest daughters 
sufferings this very hot weather. But your nights are 
cooler than ours, or you c^ not endure it. Tomorrow 
aft.noon I shall go to Rockaway & return Monday morn^. 
I hope to receive a letter by the morn- mail to take to 
Mama who enquires for one. At my return I shall have 
something to say about the fashionables, who by the 
way all go to the Springs. 

Sat^ [August] 18*^. Yesterday at noon I rec^ an in- 
vitation from M"" Buchanan to accompany him at 1 
o'clock on b*' the British packet to see the sarcophagus 
containing the remains of the unfortunate Andre, of w'' 
circumstance I made the following memo, on the back 
of the Consuls note, as soon as I returned 

Aug* 17. Attended Ja[mes] Buchannan Esq. 
British Consul, on b*^ the B. packet a[t] 1 o'clock, 
with several gentlemen, except M"" Wood of Appren- 
tices Library memory, to me unknown. The Rev*^ 
M"" Demarest of Tappan, to whose canre] the remains 
of Major Andre were intrusted, was of the party. 
[The sarcophagus] in the shape of a Ladies work 
case about 2 feet high & li/^ wide [MS. torn] de- 
signecd by] Col. Trumbull :& executed by] M' Eg- 
glecso] [17 or 18 lines of MS. missing]. 
& as round as a Ro[bin] [MS. torn] she appears, I 
think, pretty, but this may [MS. torn] a tender heart 


good girl w^ is more than beauty. cThe]y are very well 
accommodated at a very neat house, but $7. a week is 
too high as times go. Aunt Helen, Davis & M"" Craig 
came after dinner yest^. They stay over only one day. 
Indeed Sister ^^ says that she is so well & agreeably situ- 
ated with a fine pure air & free from neighbours, that 
unless to take a sea bath, she feels no necessity of going 
abroad. The very reverse with Mama for when I came 
into the city this morn^ the reverberating heat appeared 
like a furnace. Our house however by being kept closed 
is tolerably cool. The summer is at its height, & a short 
month will make a great change. Sister ^^ longs to get 
back, but I shall persuade them to stay at least a fort- 
night longer. The middle of Sepf they will probably 
go to Princeton to be there a little before commencement 
so as to return with me after my flying visit. There is 
not much comp[an]y at Rockaway this season. Water- 
ing places have their fashion, the Springs for the High 
Ton & the steamboats afford so many diversified routes 
that all draw off from the once overflowing shoals that 
used to go to Rockaway in such numbers as to render it 
scarcely possible to obtain quarters for love or money. 
Old M^^ White of Wall Street, rising [80?] was my trav- 
eling companion. 

[Wednesday, August] 22*^. Shortly after writing the 
above I rec'' your letter of 2P* July & rejoice [with you] 
that y*" city enjoys so much health as to occasion great 
waiting [MS. torn] Doctors for lack cof] patients, w*" I 
hope will be made up when [MS. torn] return to town 
[with m]any maladies short of yedlolw fever. Life to 
[19 or 20 lines of MS. missing] 

Thurs^ 23''. A cool refre[sh]ing day. The N. [E.?] 
winds have I hoped reached you. [MS. torn] heat next 
wecek & we: shall have passed the fiecry] ordeal please 
God. [MS. torn] Mama & Sistcer are both] well. Your 
cousin J. P. cBraslher is recovering fa- [the final 10 or 
11 lines of MS. missing] 

s^Pintard's sister-in-law, Mrs. Craig (Helen Brasher). 
35 Pintard's daughter, Louise. 


N York, Monday, 27 Aug\ 1821. Solar Eclipse 

The clouds obscured the effects of the eclipse w"" com- 
menced about 1/2 past 7 & was over before 10. It was of 
longer duration with you. The weather has sensibly 
changed since 6, it being sultry yest^ & close last night. 
A line from Mama of yest^ evinces her solicitude to re- 
turn. An overflowing house & a multitude of children an- 
noy her greatly. On Wed^ 5*" Sepf I may expect to see 
her. Sister is quite fat & hearty. The milder weather has 
driven home the spring emigrants. Our city has never 
probably poured forth such numbers as this season. 
Whether from the sultriness of the weather, or probably 
that as I grow older my inclination to read lessens. I 
never before experienced such listlessness & incapacity of 
fixing my attention. Light, serious, gay or grave, poetry 
or prose all are equally indifferent & void of interest. 
I took up, yest^ Boswells Johnson, w'' I have not looked 
since 1798, when I lived with Cap* Gifford in Newark.^® 
Altho' not new, & the anecdotes quite fresh in my mem- 
ory, the review of this great moralists life is quite attrac- 
tive. I read 54 q*** pages, yesf Sunday P. M. at a heat, 
with much attention & gratification. To Johnson I owe 
immense obligations for the little I know of polite litera- 
ture. His maxims have fortified my mind & have in- 
stigated my exertions as well as reconciled me to my lot. 
You may possibly recollect the freedom I took in mark- 
ing the sterling passages, apothegms &c: in the margin. 
As they recur, it makes me more attentive to them, & I 
am pleased to find the impression which their sterling 
merit made on my mind, & how familiar they recur to 
my memory. This Edition will be valuable to you or y' 
Sister were it only for y'' father's notices. I often wonder 
whether y'' husband be a reader. Probably not. At any 
rate I hope professionally so, without which he may get 
along by slow experience, but not eminently. My friend 
Francis is an ext[raordinar]y man, eccentric, volatile, 
excursive, irritable, but profound in his profession, as 

36 During Pintard's imprisonment for debt. 


time will prove. He is now engaged in edited [sic] two 
works, on Midwifery, of w^ he is professor, & on the 
abuse of Mercury, copies of w*" he will send the Doc- 
tor, & he will find them both worthy his perusal. 

Tuesday [August] 28'^. Cool & pleasant, as I hope it 
is comparatively with you. My excursive friends M"" 
Mason & others have returned home, full of the won- 
derful progress of the Grand Canal which is to effect, 
when completed, a great change for the better in the 
commerce of this city. All say that the work already 
executed far exceeds their most sanguine expectations, & 
that there can be no doubt but that the whole will be 
completed by this time two years, when, if existing in 
health I shall endeavour to go to Albany to witness the 
introduction of the lake navigation with the Hudson, a 
stupendous undertaking w'' I had little hope of seeing 
accomplished in my day. The next object will be to in- 
terlock Lake Erie with the Ohio, a practicable project 
that will cost far short of our great improvement, the 
funds for which can be raised by the guarantee of this 
State. This when executed will afford an inland naviga- 
tion between this city & yours. Whether I shall live to 
see it is doubtful, posterity certainly will. This will not 
be the only lock communication, as before many years 
have elapsed, another, which nature has already formed, 
will take place by way of the Illinois, & another when 
the upper country gets settled, by the way of Lake Su- 
perior. What unbounded resources are before us, & what 
an immense city N York is destined to become. Not- 
withstanding the practical benefit that already results 
from so much of the Canal navigation as is already in 
operation, It is strange yet true to tell, that the principal 
author of all this benefit, Gov"" Clinton, has thro' the per- 
severing efforts of his vindictive malevolent foes, become 
so unpopular westward, that there is no hope of his re- 
election. To avail themselves of present impressions, w** 
may subside before his regular term expires, next spring 
a year, I shall not be at all surprized if our Convention, 
now in session sh*^ provide for a new election next spring. 


in order, as the miscreants exult, to crush him forever. 
But tho ostracised, they cannot eclipse his well earned 
fame, & Clinton will live when the insects, the muck- 
worms of the day shall be lost in their original insignifi- 
cance. I confess that I feel indignant whenever this 
topic recurs. 

Wed^ [August] 29*^ Last ev^ I took tea with Aunt 
Helen who is very well. M"" Craig & Davis were again 
at Rockaway on Sunday. He says that Mama & Sister 
are as fat & hearty as it is possible to conceive. I did 
not answer my letter of Monday, least some natural ex- 
pression might drop of the tedium endured in their ab- 
sence w*" might precipitate their return, now fixed for 
this day week, so that I have but one weeks solitude to 
endure. It is a sorry state, only rendered tolerable by 
the conviction of the benefit Mama & Sister will derive 
from their excursion. I hope another year that quarters 
may be obtained nearer to me, where I can go every 
afternoon, w*" will do me good & render our seperation 
less irksome. I lose all appetite or inclination for ani- 
mal food. How can one eat all alone? My breakfast 
is my cheif meal, for at tea I take but a couple of crack- 
ers. Still thank God my health is very good, only when 
extreme heat occurs I am overpowered & as feeble as a 
child, but this is probably incident to declining years. 
M"" Dwight Editor of the Daily Advertiser related this 
instance of extreme lassitude & absolute debility, experi- 
enced by himself in early youth, about 13 & 14, w^ may 
be useful to the Doctor. When put to Grammar School 
he shot up so rapidly as to outgrow his strength, & to 
be rendered incapable of bodily or mental exertion. He 
was obliged to quit scho[o]l until he recovered this state 
of debility. He says that he has observed, in the course 
of his life, many similar instances, when thro' the igno- 
rance of the cause, parents by urging their children 
have entirely broken them down. ... An arrival jest^ 
from Liverpool brings intelligence to the 17 July two 
days prior to the Coronation w*" engrosses all minds, & 


the particulars of which will next reach us. These 
pompous pageantries are essential to regal governments, 
ridiculous as they may appear to us republicans. They 
serve to make an impression on the minds of the great & 
little vulgar. We are incompetent judges of these im- 
pressions, & must not estimate them by the simplicity 
of our manners. You have some remains of the respect 
that used to be paid to the Spanish government in y"" 
city. Tho a government be changed the manners of 
people, fond of etiquette do not immediately alter. The 
influence of courts was perceptible even in this city in 
my youthful days, and I retain a partiality I must con- 
fess for the more formal courtesies of the old school. 
But this is a natural prejudice of age. Amid the priva- 
tions w" I endure I am very grateful for having so faith- 
ful & contented a domestic as Tamar. She never wants 
to go out except to Church on Sunday, when I stay home 
all day to indulge her. Poor thing, she has been all alone 
till this morning when her daughter Nancy returned 
from a visit to her brothers. After our jaunt to Prince- 
ton she will then take her turn for a fortnight. This 
indulgence renders her, as she ought to be contented. 
I see my dearest child that you have y"" trials & difficul- 
ties with bad servants, the most embittering of all do- 
mestic evils, esp'' to a female whose temper is always 
kept in a state of irritation with the perpetual vexation 
arising from this source. A husband can escape from 
them, but the Wife, if a housekeeper herself, is chained 
down to the constant scene of reiterated trouble & un- 
easiness, that keeps her in a continual fret & renders 

Cher] unhappy & unpleasant to all about her 

Thurs^ [August] 30*^ ... I know not whether I 
mentioned in my last William's disappointment at not 
receiving the valedictory honour, on w" he had too much 
calculated. A son ^' of M" Field is the orator, much 
to the mortification of Clermont. I regret the circum- 

37 Richard Stockton Field (1803-1870), son of Robert and Abigail 
(Stockton) Field, was graduated from the College of New Jersey 
(Princeton) with the clas.s of 1821. Diet. Amer. Biog., VI, 369-70. 


stance, w^ must have arisen no doubt from inferiority 
of scholarship. I participate in the chagrin, but little 
can be said on such occasions. Our Convention assem- 
bled on Tuesday. Vice-President Tompkins has been 
appointed President by the influence of party, M'' King 
having only 8 votes. This is the madness of party, for 
owing to his misfortunes M"" Tompkins has degenerated 
into a degraded sot: I hope that his appointment is not 
ominous of a staggering Constitution. I yet hope that 
prudence & wisdom may guide the measures of the Con- 
vention. . . . 

New York, Monday 3*^ Sept., 1821 

At 1/4 past 6 this morning a lad called with a letter 
from M"" Wyer, inclosing my dearest daughters of 14*^ 
Aug*, luckily just as I was stepping out to market. He 
arrived at Quarantine last evening in 17 days & as I 
inform him that M" W. is at Baltimore, sh*^ he get my 
answer in time, he will be allowed to proceed this day, 
as our regulations do not interfere with destinations to 
other places than this city. . . . 

Tuesday 4*". We had a most tremendous hurricane 
here last ev= between 5 & 7. Never did we experience so 
sudden & severe a blow. Houses Chimnies & trees have 
been prostrated & great damage to our wharves & ves- 
sels of w" the paper will give an account. At Rockaway 
they must have been exposed to the full rake of the N. E. 
gale & no doubt terrified. William Bayard who has 
passed a few days with me set off just before the storm 
for Newark, & must have been exposed to its utmost 
violence. It rained excessively & the lower part of the 
city has been inundated by an unusual influx of the sea, 
altho' happily it was at low water, otherwise the dam- 
age w'^ have been infinite. Sh*^ it clear off hot, after so 
much rain, we shall be exposed to Fever, but if cool, as 
I hope, the heat of the summer will be broken & we 
shall remain healthy. I have just written to Mama to 


protract her stay a few days until we see the issue. She 
was to return tomorrow. 

[Addressed:] Doctor Richard Davidson 
Resident Physician 

New Orleans 
Brig Edward 
Cap* Hallett 
with a small packet 

New York, Sat^ S'*^ Sept', 1821 

The Brig Edward sailed o**^ Wed^ with a little pretty 
box for my dear sweet Turtle Dove,^^ including some 
school books &c. for Eliza a reward for her wonderful 
progress in learning, all w" I hope will come safe to hand 
& prove acceptable. This morn^ I rec"^ my dearest daugh- 
ters letter of ll**" Ult° together with the Doctors bulletin, 
w** is very well drawn up, & I rejoice to find that the 
state of y"" Citys health & its medical police is so favour- 

You do not know how much the foolish toy gun has 
annoyed me, that I sh*^ have wounded the manly feelings 
of my high spirited namesake, by treating him as a child. 
. . . Every week or two I have been hunting thro' all 
the gunsmiths shops, & importers stores for a fusil 
adapted to his years. By chance yest^ afternoon I came 
across a beautiful light piece, French, but well made, 
twisted barrel, & to complete it, have ordered it to be 
bushed with platina, the barrel browned to guard it from 
rust in y"" humid climate, to be put in best order, & with 
a leather case, the equipments of flask, shot bag & game 
net shall accompany it, so that our sportsman shall be 
fully equipped, and under his Fathers eye, will I hope 
treat Mama to an English snipe of his own killing. 
Marsden must carry the game bag until he gets a little 
older & bigger, when his brother can transfer him this 

88 Louise Davidson, second daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Richard 


piece & I can send him one larger & suited to his growing 
years. . . . 

Sat. 1 P. M. Calling on M' Russel to know when 
his Brig Fanny, Packard Master, was to sail, intending 
to put the Gun on b[oar]d, he informed me, from the 
15"^ to 20'", but what is more said that M'^ Chew had 
written on to engage her passage in the Phcebe Ann. 
My heart flew in my throat & has not ceased palpitating 
since I begged him to mark the next best birth for y"" 
dear Sister. I have been upstairs to tell her to get ready 
& to behave manfully. She says that she will go. . . . 

Monday [September] 10'''. Sister is so agitated about 
her visit, that Mama desired me yesterday to say noth- 
ing on the subject, but to leave it until her mind shall 
be made up, which is proper. C*^ Mama accompany her 
there w** be no objection. Never having been, even on 
a short excursion, from under Mothers wing, Sister 
seems to have no confidence in herself, no self support 
or resolution that distinguished you. It is high time 
that she sh*^ be weaned, but not compulsively. . . . The 
papers of the morning contain a bulletin of our B[oar]d 
of Health, of 2 Cases of decided Yellow fever, in the 
fashionable medical cant. Malignant. This was quite 
unexpected to our merchants. Our shipping will be sub- 
ject to Quarantine of course. It is the exact period for 
the first symptoms. I had hopes that we sh*^ have 
escaped, but the probability now is that this dreadful 
visitation will recur, & that we shall have, once more, to 
abandon our dwellings. Yesf was oppressively hot, this 
day very warm, but a refreshing breeze. In case of sick- 
ness I shall persuade Mama to go out to Aunt Helens 
at the 2 mile stone, where, on removing our office to 
Chamber Street I can conveniently walk in & out. . . . 

Tuesday [September] IV^. The alarm excited by, 
what is considered precipate, bulletin of our B*^ of Health 
has subsided on the report of last ev^ that no new symp- 
toms exist, much no doubt to the mortification of the 
homebred system. We are doomed to be agitated by the 
conflicting systems of foreign & domestic. "Perish all 


Madrid, cried Doctor Sangrado, but let our system be 
supported. We have written a Book." As it was at Ma- 
drid in the days of Gil Bias, so it is in this & other sea- 
ports. We have a kind & pressing invitation to com- 
mencem* the acceptance of w*" entirely depends on Sisters 
decision whether or not to visit you. . . . 

Wed'' [September] 12*''. We passed a pleasant even^ 
with y'" Cousin Julia, Her family friends. Aunt Helen 
(fee''. Julia is very amiable, has one son, named after 
her uncle John Abeel who left her about $30,000. Her 
husband is in the dry good business, a shrewd industrious 
economical young man & will probably become wealthy. 
Y"" Cousin Johns health is very delicate. He ought to 
escape the ensuing winter. He dines with us today, in 
company with M'' Francis Stockton of Alamba [sic] 
son of M"" Samuel Stockton dec*^ of Trenton. He occa- 
sionally goes to N. Orleans & hearing me speak of you 
said that he sh** be happy to call on you. He is a very 
intelligent & enterprizing merchant, & has come on to 
form a commercial correspondence in this city & in Bos- 
ton, observing that Philad*" being shut up during the 
winter, the active season of business south, that little or 
no intercourse exists with that place, where he was 
brought up & his friends & interest lie. The fact is that 
our city has so many advantages as to have cut off with 
Bait" the once flourishing monopoly of PhiP which 
chagrins them so that they can scarcely bear to speak 
of us with patience. These jealousies are foolish & fre- 
quently irritated by silly editors. We have advantages 
natural & artificial enough, without vaunting or provok- 
ing the envy of our neighbours which is illiberal. 

(Thurs^ [September] 13"') The die is cast and your 

Sister has decided not to go to N. Orleans 

It is now concluded to go to Princeton. . . . The alarm 
that had been excited by the 2 cases of yellow fever, on 
Monday last, has subsided. The wind has shifted to 
N. W. it is now cool & please God no new case will recur, 
otherwise, living as we do in connection with a public 
office, it w** never do for us all to leave home, as in case 


of abandonment, it w*^ be necessary to pack up our 
valuables, & attend to their removal 

New York, IS*'' Sept., 1821 

I am now preparing to make, in all probability, my 
last visit to our Jersey friends and relatives. . . . 

Wed^ 19*'^ Sepf. Last evening I attend [ed] the 
funeral of another of my Directors, M'' Joshua Jones, 
who died on Sunday in his 65*" year, of decay. He had 
been in town only a few days previous. He was re- 
spectable, tolerably liberal and has left a great estate. 
It is singular as Mama observed, that the two gentlemen 
of the Comm[itte]e who opposed our removing, M"" 
Sherred & M"" Jones, have since died. M"" Mason was 
our friend. Sic transit. At the funeral I saw M"" Robin- 
son & enquired after M""^ Chew, who is daily expected. 
He says that he shall advise her to take passage in the 
steamship, w" is to sail the P* Oct. in order to shun the 
pickaroons that infest our coast to an alarming degree. 
I shall not see her until my return from Princeton. My 
mind is more satisfied under existing circumstances with 
your dear sisters determination. . . . Mama & Sister do 
not go to Princeton. I have a letter this morn^ from 
M"" Bayard mentioning that M""^ Bradford is very much 
indisposed & that Patty was to set out to day for Bur- 
lington. D"" Boudinot is confined to his Chamber, so 
that my visit, which I must perform, will be but a 
gloomy one. . . . 

I have a letter to write to Midshipman Clinton, by 
the Franklin, w*" is to relieve the Constellation & may 
sail before my return, as also to collect newspapers to 
forward to my protege. ... I am going with D"" Francis 
at 3 to visit our Lunatic Assylum at Bloomingdale w*" 
I have not seen since it has been opened. I sh*^ be 
ashamed not to be able to answer from personal knowl- 
edge any enquiries on subjects relating to our improve- 


ments, with w*" generally I am tolerably acquainted. 
We are wonderfully progress [ive] notwithstanding the 
depression of Commerce. Building is very rife with us 
this summer. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Brig Fanny 

To Doctor Richard Davidson, of New Orleans 

New York, 20^'> Sept., 1821 
My dear Sir 

I have just left with M"" Russel who promises to see 
the articles safely put on B*^ the Brig Fanny Cap* Pack- 
ard a light fowling piece & box containing a complete 
equipment, for my namesake. . . . 

It is pleasing to learn that y"" city was safe on the 23*^ 
Aug* and I sincerely hope that the precautionary meas- 
ures of your B*^ of Health may prove as successful as 
hitherto, with us. Your report has been published & ap- 
plauded in the Evening Post.^^ We shall, this season, 
prove the efficacy of the Quarantine system. Two cases 
occured at our wharves, but not originating within the 
city. The reports of Doctor Bailey ^° to our vigilant & 
candid B** of Health will have reached you thro' the 
papers, and convince every dispassionate mind of the 
propriety of maintaining a strict Quarantine. Doctor 
Quackenbos, resid* physician, has yielded his prejudices 
to the conviction of the season, a triumph for our friend 
D"" Hosack, who no doubt will comment on the subject, 
after the campaign is over, when I shall send you any- 
thing that may be published. My friend Francis is pre- 
paring a ponderous Octavo of Denmans Midwifery with 
10 or 12 plates, which will be out in all [probability] 
next month. He will present you a copy, w*" will [be] 
valuable to you. His notes, some of which he has read 

39 A letter signed "R. Davidson, Resident Physician," dated Health 
Office, New Orleans, August 10, 1821, is printed in The New-York Eve- 
ning Post, for Friday, September 14, 1821. 

^0 Joseph Bayley. 


to me, are extremely well drawn up. He is writing a 
treatise, as I informed you, on the use & abuse of mer- 
cury, which will do him credit, & no doubt benefit the 
public. He is one of the most extraord'' men I ever 
knew, and if his life be spared will tower above all his 

[Addressed by:] Brig Fanny 

Capt Packard 

with a small package and Fowling piece 

New York, Sat^ 29*^ Sept^ 1821 

Yest'' I returned from a visit to my Jersey friends 
highly delighted with my jaunt. A diary of my tour will 
best convey all I have seen & heard. On Friday 21^* 
the day the sun crossed the line, I set off in the steam- 
boat at 6 A. M., where we arrived at i/o past 9 after a 
pleasant passage & a good breakfast. The distance to 
Bordentown 30 miles in a straight line, the first 6 miles, 
a pine forest & sandy road was heavy, & we were an- 
noyed with musquitos. This is the great transit for 
goods between the two cities. To the mortification of 
the jealous Philadelphians, over whom a liberal N. 
Yorker ought never to exult for they possess eminent 
advantages, the Fancy storekeepers are obliged to come 
to this city to make up their assortments. We overtook 
several wagons load[ed] with trunks of fine goods, worth 
at least $50,000. A storekeeper in the Coach that con- 
veyed us told me that this was his 4^** trip & probably he 
sh^ make two more and that he bought generally to the 
am* of $10,000. We talked of the advantages of a canal 
between Trenton & the Raritan, w^ he said w*^ make 
N York the importers for Phil'' & ruin their merchants. 
This is exaggerated. Traders will always find their way 
to the cheapest market by land or water & only have to 
pay greater freights by wagons than by boats. For my- 
self I see no obstacle in the way of a canal. A little after 
2 we reached the PhiP steamboat, on b*^ which we had 


an excellent dinner, & at 4, after stopping at Bristol to 
take in passengers in the Citizen Coach, the land line, 
crammed 3 on a seat, I landed at Burlington after a very- 
pleasant ride & sail, after giving a few shillings to two 
pretty little sailor boys who had gone to N York, to sail 
in the Canton round the world, but the ship was full. 
They were thankful & myself gratified. On reaching M'" 
Boudinots I found the Doctor much improved but M" 
Bradford prostrate tho convalescing after a violent 
bilious fever. I only saw her twice, a few minutes, as she 
was suffering under salivation & c'^ not hardly speak. She 
is much reduced but out of danger. Here I found the 
accomplished M'"^ John Wallace, whom I had never seen, 
once the celebrated Miss Binney, a remarkable intellec- 
tual lady, but whose bloom has faded. To make the most 
of my time I called on my old friend Judge Griffith, who 
is broken down in body & estate, but his mind as strong 
as ever. You know our mutual esteem & friendship. 
He is excessively nervous. I c^ if not cure, at least brace 
him up, were I near him. Cousin Abby '*^ has quite re- 
covered since her visit to Natchez, where John & William 
are in excellent practice as lawyers, and Elias the young- 
est son, not of age, has married a young heiress of $50,000 
cotton estate. M" Cox ^^ the eldest daughter & only one 
boy, is settled near her parents at Mount Holly, only 
6 miles distant, her husband the son of W" Cox Esq"" is a 
lawyer. The next daughter Mary I think is yet unmar- 
ried & will be provided for by her brothers. Why thus 
cast down my friend. To be sure he is involved, but 
fretting cant pay debts, & his family are off his hands. 
Surely there is no cause for such depression as he labours 
under. But this is constitutional. 

Monday P* Oct. My next calls were on Doctor Whar- 
ton, & Gen. Bloomfield. The latter having lost his first 
wife, married last winter a blooming elegant widow ^^ 

41 Abigail (Hetfield) Griffith, wife of Judge William Griffith. 

*2 Susan B. Griffith, who married in 1816, Richard Smith Coxa. 
Dictionary of American Biography, under Coxe. 

43 Mrs. John W. Macomb (Isabella Ramsay). N. Y. Evening Post, 
Ap. 11, 1804; Nov. 6, 1820. 


of our city withourt] fortune and with four children, 
daughters, the oldest about 10, formerly Miss Bella 
Ramsey, & when young a Belle indeed. A discreet match 
for both. The General is quite rich & Madam a very 
prudent accomplished lady. He engaged me to dine, 
w" I declined, my visit being to Doctor Boudinot, to 
whom I returned, took tea, & passed the evening till 
near 10, when after the good patriarchs prayers & chap- 
ter, having for a moment seen Cousin Susan, I retired 
to rest. Repose I had none, for a wool mattrass, on two 
feather beds, required only a down quilt to have steamed 
me into eternity. All pain & fatigue however were 
sweated off, and I rose at dawn to cool my poor carcass. 
At sunrise I sallied out to visit the market, where several 
beautiful Quakeresses attended with their fine butter & 
finer peaches, some of which I bought as an excuse for 
chatting with one of these pretty lasses who was, tho' 
somewhat precise, very affable & easy. Having taken a 
stroll along the beautiful promenade in front of the Dela- 
ware I returned to breakfast, having in the meantime 
engaged to take tea with my friend Thomas Collins at 
6 o'clock, & at 9 to visit the African School under his 
care, w'' after breakfast I did, & was much gratified. It 
is attended by a young lad, Cooper, brought up in our 
Free School. Having examined the little children 25, & 
given a half dollar to treat them with peaches. Gen. 
Bloomfield called in his carriage, to take me to M"" W" 
Cox's who resides on his farm a short distance from town. 
You may remember that he lived in one of the beautiful 
Houses that fronted the Delaware. Amid the vicissi- 
tudes to w^ poor mortals are subject, M"" Cox, who when 
I first knew him 20 years ago possessed a princely for- 
tune, and was in the possession of all that could render 
life happy, affluent & respected, in his old days his for- 
tune has vanished by indorsing for a son in law. He has 
been obliged to sell his city house (purchased by M"" 
Binney) & to retire on his farm, acquired by his wife, 
where he is a scientific & successful cultivator of the soil. 
His industry affords him ample support, but his affairs 


are unsettled. He delicately alluded to the change, but 
my acquaintance did not warrant those free remarks 
which I made to my friend Grifl&th when I dined with 
him on Sunday, and to whom without offence I c*^ hold 
up myself as an example. But your spirits are so buoy- 
ant, you will never die until the breath is out of y"" body, 
was his remark. And why sh** you give up and die before 
your time was mine, but there is no reasoning with the 
blue devils. I did all I c'^ to chace them in to the red 
sea, & M" G, said that he had not been so animated & 
cheerful for months. On return with Gen. B. after a 
ride all round the island on which Burlington stands, I 
dined at D"" Boudinots who came down to dinner & ac- 
tually appeared stronger & heartier than when he was 
last in this city. He was cheerful, sat an hour, & retired. 
I waited on M""^ J. Wallace to the steamboat at 5, & re- 
luctantly parted with this uncommonly fine lady after 
a few hours acquaintance, sufficient however to estimate 
her merits & to observe the cloud of anxious solicitude 
too repeatedly crossing her animated countenance. I 
could sympathize for inward but ill suppressed care. A 
short lived acquaintance would admit no more. M"" 
Wallace like my friend Griffith has expecriennced the sad 
effects of speculation in lands, in w" [I] might have 
been involved [if th]e delusive prospect of golden gain 
was held out to me. His brilliant mcode] of life has 
been obscured to the evident mortification of his high 
minded lacdy] Sic transit is inscribed on others fortunes 
as well as my own. ... At 5 I called on my former fel- 
low citizen Thomas Collins, who has retired satisfied with 
his share of worldly gains as a bookseller, to educate his 
children in Burlington. His wife is an amiable intelli- 
gent friend. He is very benevolent, has been extremely 
useful in this place where I hope he will revert for the 
sphere of usefulness is too restricted in Burlington. I sat 
till 7, when I called on Gen. Bloomfield where were as- 
sembled several of my old acquaintances. After tea M" 
B. performed several times on the piano, among others 
Auld Lang Syne, a favourite air and peculiarly appropri- 


ate with great animation & effect. M'^ M^'Ilvaine, the 
once beautiful Miss Reed, with a large family of sons & 
daughters grown up retains much of her youthful charm. 
One son ^^ is settled in Kentucky, a merchant, says he is 
acquainted with the Doctor & promises to call on you 
with my regards next spring. He is a very correct & I 
believe successful trader. At 9 I went up to Doctor 
Boudinots chamber & sat with him until midnight & g^ 
hardly get away. In the family was a M""^ Porter, ^^ a 
lady of New Haven, whose husband, I think I told you, 
put a period to his existence last spring in a j&t of in- 
sanity. She is a sister of the late president Dwight of 
Yale College, also of my friend Theodore Dwight, Ed- 
itor of the Daily Gazettes with whom I am intimate. 
She is very intelligent, interesting, and has performed 
wonder [s] in pulmonary cases, by her prescriptions of 
the Bugle weed, the process of which I will give the 
Doctor in some other letter. On Sunday I attended serv- 
ice both morn^ & evening. The organ was played by 
Miss M'' Ilvaine, & the chaunts sung by the young ladies 
of Burlington most celestially. I dined with M"" Grif- 
fith. Abby said that she had not time to call on you 
being merely transferred from the steam boat on board 
of Cap* Don. She has quite recovered that health w^ 
was broken down by her husbands misfortunes, the sight 
of her children happily settled at Natchez, has quite re- 
stored her. I felt great delight to find them, once more, 
in their own house, which had been given up to his 
creditors during her absence, and redeemed by their Sons. 
How consoling such instances of filial affection. Be- 
tween Churches I strolled in the Church Yard & took 
down the ages of M""^ Boudinot ^« & M"*^ Hatfield, the 

4* Bowes Reed Mcllvaine (died 1866), of Lexington, Kentucky, and 
later of New York City. Cooley's Early Settlers in Trenton, pp. 165, 

45 Mrs. Jonathan E. Porter (Fidelia Dwight). B. W. Dwight, His- 
tory of the Descendants of John Dwight (1874), I, 140, 241. 

*6 Probably Mrs. Elias Boudinot (Hannah Stockton), who died 1808, 
and Mrs. Mary Hetfield. who died 1801, both of whom were buried in 
St. Mary's Churchyard, Burlington, N. J. J. E. Stillwell, Historical and 
Genealogical Miscellany (1906), II, 135, 134. 


f [ojrmer you knew, the latter you cannot remember. In 
the margin of my Bible are inserted notices of all my 
departed friends & relatives. As they recur, in the course 
of my annual readings, they serve to remind me that my 
course ics] nearly finished and admonish me to prepare 
to follow them. In the evening I took tea with M*"^ Wal- 
lace, '*'' who has lost her husband & son Joshua since our 
last interview. A resigned Christian [s]he looks forward 
with cheerfulness to another and btetter: world. M'^ 
Collet her dacug]hter has one of the most beautiful boys, 
about 4, I ever beheld. A perfect model, wcith: his rosy 
chubby cheeks & flaxen curled locks. Her husband M"" 
C. a manufacturer cin P]aterson has been also unfortu- 
nate. Alas how many instances of misfortune has [this] 
tour introduced me to. He is maternally a descendant 
of the eminently pious [Bis]hop Wilson of Sodor & 
Man, the Apostle of the English Church. Afflicted with 
the gout [tha]t cramped his fingers he wrote with a pen 
made out of the leg bone of the Crane [i]n possession 
of M" C. an heimloom, with w*" I wrote more legibly 
than this cscr]awl. I took an affect [ionate] & probably 
last leave of this venerable lady. With the Rev. Doc"" 
cWnharton I passed 2 hours & the rest of the ev° till 12 
with D"" Boudinot, saw M" Bradford a few moments, 
rec*^ the benediction of my old friend most likely, even 
as well as he looks for the last time & retired to rest. 
The sequel of my adventures must be left until my next, 
probably by Cap* Holmes, who is to sail on the 10*" or 
13*" inst. 

Tuesday, 2^ Oct. A letter from M^ Bayard has 
shocked me extremely. M" Cuthbert ^^ of whom I took 
leave on Thur'' morn^ last, who had a party the same 
evening, on Friday aft. noon following called on D"" Stock- 
ton to pay a visit of condolence on the death of his 
daughter. She complained of illness at the stomach, was 
bled, fen into stupor, carried home on a couch, never 

47 Mrs. Joshua Maddox Wallace (Tace Bradford). N. Y. Genealogi- 
cal and Biographical Record, IV, 187; Stillwell, Historical and Genea- 
logical Miscellany, II, 137, 141. 

48 Mrs. Alexander Cuthbert (Susan Stockton) . 


awoke to sensibility, & expired next morn^ Sat^ 29*'' at 
7 o'clock, aged I think 61, & was buried on Sunday after- 
noon. She was very well when I saw her, as I shall re- 
late in my next. 

On Friday 21 Sept. My dear good Aunt Cannon,^^ of 
cNor]walk departed this life at the very advanced age of 
89 years & 10 m°^ She had been a kind nursing mother 
to me in my tender [years.] How often when she combed 
my youngling heacd: did she press me to her bosom when 
I raised my little licps] to give her the usual kiss, when 
I always noticed the tear of affection glittering in her 
ceyne, little conscious that it was to the onDemory of my 
dear mother. 

New York, Sat^ Q'"" Octo., 1821 

Your letter my dearest daughter of the 8^^ Sept. with 
the very beautiful french letter of my dear g^daughter 
was rec^ yest^. . . . Aunt Patty has been with us since 
Wed^ & is getting off this morning with Samuel & 
Cl[ar]y for N Rochelle, where their visit will be short- 
ened on account of unpleasing tidings of the state of 
Doctor Boudinots health, who has not been down stairs 
since I was at Burlington, has lost all appetite and from 
his advanced years may probably not recover. 

Thursday IV^ Oct^ ... By the papers I see the 
Phoebe Ann is to sail tomorrow in w'' M""^ Chew embarks, 
having left her oldest son & daughter with their g'^par- 
ents in Virginia for education. . . . M" Wyer go[es] 
home by the Ohio, which varies the route, & being un- 
encumbered with children is attended with no difficulty. 
... On Sunday morn^ I rec*^ a letter from M'^ Bayard 
advising that M"" Boudinot [was ill] & on Tuesday an- 
other announcing him out of danger. Aunt Patty with 

*9 Mrs. John Cannon (Esther Perry), sister-in-law of John Pintard's 
mother, Mary (Cannon) Pintard. [N. Y.] Commercial Advertiser, Oct. 
2, 1821; C. M. Selleck, Norwalk (1896). 


Caroline returned escorted by the Rev. M"" Bayard on 
Monday mom^ & set off immediately for home. Samuel 
remains a week or two with his brother. Please God that 
after this attack our venerable relative may regain health 
to sumve the winter & strength to visit us once more & 
lay the foundation stone of the Depository of the Am. 
Bible Society which is to be erected in this city. 

10 A. M. I have just come from alongside the Brig. 
Cap* H[olmes] informs that her sailing is deferred until 
Sat^ which gives me a respite, in consequence of one 
ladys being indisposed & that M""^ Chew, having heard 
of the death of her mother in law ^^ wishes to stay over 
another day. Mama sends by her a doz. of silver forks, 
crest engraved, w*" will I know be acceptable. They are 
substantial & but little worse for wear. Receive them 
[as] the annual token of our love. . . . M""^ Talbot & 
Aunt Helen dine here to day. We intended M" Chew 
sh*^ have been a guest had she not declined, & the recent 
news forbids the cold formality of a short invitation. 
Oh that we c*^ give all y' friends my dearest daughter 
those hospitable receptions w^ in our early life were so 
much the delight of y'' parents, & when as you know our 
house in King Street was a perfect lodging house all the 
year round. But my finances will not permit & we must 
not repine. 

Friday [October] 12''' 

Mama may probably mention that I have been troubled 
since my return from Princeton with something of dys- 
sentery w*" was brought on by getting wet a week ago. 
I am however quite recovered & was not obliged to inter- 
mit office duty. To gratify Mama I shall consult with 
Doc'" Francis. My reason for applying to him is, that 
from intimacy & friendship I think he knows my consti- 
tution best. He being young & alert, can in case of emer- 
gency move quick and I have the fullest confidence in 
his judgment. The same indeed in D"" Hosack, but I told 
Francis, when I was indisposed at Albany where we were 

50 Mrs. John Chew (Ann Fox), mother of Beverly Chew. L. B. 
Thomas, The Thomas Book (1892), p. 282. 


roommates, that when he set up fcor] himself I sh** wish 
him to be my personal physician. I hope that I shall 
have little occasion for his advice and less for his physic. 
Indeed y"" mother who understands me well is after all 
my best physician, I told you I think that this was my 
periodical year 63^^, my g*^ climacteric as it [is] called, 
when according to the old school nature may expect some 
critical visitation. Should I pass thro' it without danger, 
my days may be lengthened another 7 years, according 
to the rule of chances. 

10 o'clock. . . . My office duties for semi annual Div- 
idend begin to press. Next week is the Episcopal Con- 
vention. I foolishly accepted a delegation from my 
French. I can do no good, thro defect of hearing, w" 
increases with vears 

To Doctor Richard Davidson 

New York, IS**" October, 1821 

My dear Sir 

By Cap* Holmes you will receive, I hope, a Box of 
Starch, for Eliza, also a complimentary box for Master 
Marsden to put him even with the other children. In 
the latter package is the collection, just published of the 
History and every document relating to our Canals 
hitherto published, the sequels, if I am spared shall be 
sent you as they may appear. As the completion of our 
great western Canal, will ultimately, be intimately con- 
nected with the Mississippi by means of Ohio, the Illinois 
&Q^ you will feel a direct interest in the subject. The 
introduction by Col. Haines ^^ will open your eyes to 
the immense resources of this state and the western 
world. Sanguine as he may at this day appear, I have 
no doubt that the result will in time, as far surpass his 

^^ Charles G. Haines, according to a note opposite the first page of 
the introduction to Public Documents Relating to the New-York 
Canals, which are to connect the Western and Northern Lakes with the 
Atlantic Ocean (N. Y., 1821). 


estimates, as that of steam navigation has excelled what 
was once thought the ideal visionary anticipations of 
Fulton. "You will live to see, I trust, said he (when 
conversing on my observations respecting the Missis- 
sippi after my return in 1801 from y"" City) as many 
steam boats on the western waters as there are states 
in the Union." I hardly dared hope to witness the ful- 
filment of this prediction much less to see it so far sur- 
passed. I may yet be spared to witness the junction of 
Lake Erie with the Ocean, possibly to circumnavigate 
this great portion of the U States. In two years more 
(1823) it will be completed. But I refer you to Col. 
Haines. Do not part with this Textbook, which is in- 
valuable. I must send out to replace it, this copy being 
furnished before publication to forward to you. 

D"" Francis's Denham,^^ I think, is nearly if not quite 
thro' the press, and I hope to send you a copy by the 
next oppo[rtunity]. D"" Hosack is publishing another 
edition of Thomas, a copy of w** I hope also to procure. 
As containing the latest improvements in the Medical 
Science both these works will be an acquisition, . . . 
[Addressed:] Doctor Richard Davidson 
Resident Physician 

New Orleans 
By Brig Phoebe Ann 

Cap* Holmes 
with 2 small Boxes 

New York, Sat'' 13 Octo"", 1821. noon 

At half past 11 this day I took leave of y"" friend M" 
Chew on board the Phebe Ann, which left the wharf 
with a fine easy wind & will make a good offing before 

Monday 15*". A letter this morn^ from Burlington 

^^ Sic for Denman: Thomas Denman (1733-1815), author of An In- 
troduction to the Practice of Midwifery. {Dictionary of National Biog- 
raphy, V, 808.) 


mentions that D"" Boudinot has relapsed. M"" Bayard 
wrote that he had returned on the 9*^* to Princeton & 
with Aunt Patty who had got home was to set off next 
day for Burlington, . . . 

Tuesday [October] 16*''. No letter from Burlington. 
We have had some excitement respecting 2 Cases of 
Fever, both young men of respectability & merchants in 
Pearl Street, near each other, M"" Van Vechten & Lent.^^ 
The resident & consulting physicians have decided their 
cases to have been bilious, & being both hitherto favour- 
able to the doctrine of domestic origin, may be supposed 
to be impartial. Our city thank God enjoys good health, 
& we are past the crisis of danger, as I hope you are. 
The Quarantine is raised, so that please God business 
will be no longer intercepted. 

Wed^ 17*^. A letter from M"" Bayard of yest^ informs 
of the extreme low state of Doc"" Boudinot so that by 
tomorrows post I may expect a summons to attend. On 
the 14*'' he was so reduced that his family & friends sur- 
rounded his bed, expecting his dissolution, this was 
morning. In the evening he revived & sat up, he re- 
quested M"* Bayard to pray for him, but not to suppli- 
cate for his recovery, only that God would be pleased 
to grant him an easy departure. He expressed his per- 
fect resignation and willingness to die. On reflecting 
on the course of his long life, no circumstance, he re- 
marked, gave him so much satisfaction as having been 
a humble instrument in the hands of Providence to aid 
in the formation of the Am. Bible Society, a subject in 
his dying hours the nearest to his heart. It delighted 
him to receive my monthly epistles, which I always, for 
some years, have made it a rule to write the morning 
succeeding the managers meetings, giving a detail of 
their proceedings. He has been singularly gratified with 
the efforts now in train, for building a Depository, which 

S3 John Van Vechten and John A. Lent both died on October 14, 
1821. Commercial Advertiser, Oct. 15, 1821. A report of Proceedings 
of the Board of Health with reference to them, is printed Ibid., Oct. 16, 
1821, p. 2, column 5. 


affords evidence, with the blessing of God on our labours, 
of perpetuity, and of rendering the Institution more 
conspicuous and flourishing. . . . 

Thurs'' [October] 18*". No letter by post this morn^. 
Doctor Boudinot powerful constitution struggles hard 
with the Tyrant Death. I am all ready to depart at 
short notice. Happily I have recovered from my late 
indisposition. The doze of Rhuba[r]b & Magnesia, pre- 
scribed by my physician Francis sickend me into death, 
but it effectually cleansed me, & last evening the first 
for many days, I took some roasted oysters at tea, with 
a relish, w*" has revived and strengthned me for my 
impending journey, w*" must be rapid, out & home. Do 
not suppose my dearest daughter, that the affection & 
solicitude I have expressed for our venerable kinsman 
proceed from any sinister views or expectation of being 
remembered in his Will. I have not the most distant 
idea of the most trifling legacy. The estate of D"" Bou- 
dinot will appear to have been vastly overrated. Should 
he leave in lands, the chief bulk of his property to the 
am* of $100,000, it will exceed my expectation. He has 
a great number of nephews & nieces, most of whom are 
in humble circumstances. His namesake, the son of my 
late friend Uncle Elisha is heir I understand to the best 
part of his uncles property, Rose hill, near Philadelphia, 
w" has much diminished in value. I understand that 
Aunt Pat[ty] whom he regards as a child will, or her 
children each, receive a share. M" Bradford who es- 
teems your Aunt as a sister, has made her will, providing 
handsomely for her with succession to her children, w'' 
will improve their fortunes, not great, when my good old 
un[cle]s estate comes to be divided among them. So that 
you see, were I so unreasonable, there is no expectation, 
as mourning rings are out of fashion, of any thing for me, 
nor am I chagrined in the least. 

Saturday 20**^. ... I have a letter from M"" Bayard, 
at 12 yest^ mentioning that M"" Boudinot is so extremely 
low that more than probable his course is ere this fin- 


ished. I shall set out at 12 o'clock in hopes of getting 
to Burlington tomorrow at 9, otherwise must ride in the 
mail Coach all night. . . . 

11 o'clock. Sat^ 20. Oct. I have just taken my seat 
by way of So[uth] Amboy, to depart at 12, & shall be 
on the roacd] till 10 or 11 to night w^ is better than going 
by mail. We shall reach Burlington at 9 tomorrow 
morn^. God bless you. Adieu. 

[Addressed:] P"* Steamship Fulton 

Burlington, Thurs^ 25''^ Octo^ 1821 
My dearest daughter, 

By the Steam Ship Fulton which sailed last Saturday 
I wrote you and mentioned I think the extreme illness 
of my venerable friend and relative Doctor Boudinot. 
Every sense of duty and affection prompted my visit 
to this place, for which I sat out last Sunday & arrived 
at 5 o'clock, hardly expecting, from every intelligence, 
to find him alive. But that was the case, altho lying 
in a state of total insensibility. Cousin Susan Bradford 
had but barely recovered, so as to sit up in her chamber, 
from the dangerous illness which she laboured under dur- 
ing my late visit. She expressed the greatest gratitude 
for my visit, as the best evidence in my power to afford 
of my respect and veneration for her excellent father. 
M"^ & M" Bayard, M^ Rich*^ Stockton & daughter Julia, 
M' & M""' Horace Stockton & daughters, & Elias Bou- 
dinot were all here. The last recognition of the good old 
saint was on the preceding Tuesday ev= when the arrival 
of M'* R"^ Stockton was announced & when raising his 
eyes & receiving his hand, he expressed his thankfulness 
for his attention. He closed them never to open again 
in this world, fell into a torpor, from whence he never 
awoke. He suffered little bodily pain & had taken no 
sustenance since Friday, & the last application of lauda- 
num was administered on the Sat^ preceding my arrival. 
That he c*^ hold out 24 hours was hardly probable, the 


fact was otherwise. On Sunday evening I took my bed 
with my old friend Judge Griffith, passed all Monday at 
the bedside of the good Doctor, But as his departure 
might take place that night, and as I had agreed with 
M"" Bayard to attend to laying him out, I passed a sleep- 
less night at M" Bradfords, and again spent my time at 
the bedside, with intervals of walking in the air. At 
eleven on Tuesday night, as M"" Stockton was to sit up 
until 1, I threw myself on a bed, with injunctions to be 
called up in case of change. At half past 12, Doctor 
Cox who staid in the room awakened me, and said that 
the symptoms of approaching dissolution were evident. 
I instantly arose & learned that my venerable friend had 
uttered two or three heavy groans. I held his hand & 
felt his pulse for 15 minutes which was gradually sinking, 
until i/o past 1, when strange to say it raised and he lay 
breathing free & easy, quite motionless, more like a re- 
posing convalescent than a dying man. The Doctor, M"" 
Stockton & Bayard retired to rest. I paced the room the 
whole night, & when Ma'amselle Martel, & M" Horace 
Stockton were overpowered with sleep I watched in si- 
lence the departing spirit of my friend and traced the 
strong resemblance of his features with the countenance 
of my revered uncle. At daylight the features began to 
alter. At 7 when Doctor Cox came in, the extremities 
were cold above the knee, still however the pulse beat 
strong, without any difficulty of breathing. I wrote to 
Mama, carried my letter to the Steam boat returned & 
after breakfast took my attending station. At 10 his 
pulse failed & the convulsive heaving of the chest com- 
menced, in half an hour the head was also convulsed, 
and gradually the features totally altered. Exactly at 
half past eleven the spirit of the saint took its flight from 
the body, without a groan, without a struggle, with [out] 
any hiccough, nor the least clammy sweat that usually 
bedews the face of departing existence. Thus died Elias 
Boudinot in the 82*^ year of his age, retaining the facul- 
ties of his mind and his activity of disposition until 
within a fortnight of his end. Do not pray for my re- 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1821 101 

covery said he to M"" Bayard, but that I may be per- 
mitted to part with little bodily suffering, which prayers 
were heard and granted. M" Stockton, M""^ Field & 
M'^ Pintard arrived from Princeton at 2. I returned and 
took up my first quarters, & arose this morn^ quite re- 
freshed, and after breakfast am now writing this account 
for your gratification, to send by this days mail, at 12 
o'clock. . . . 

1/4 p. 11. The mail closes at 12, I have little time to 
enlarge. Something leaks out about the will, but not 
much. Such particulars as may be interesting may make 
the subject of my next. Nothing I understand is to be 
paid, until after the death of M" Bradford, least she may 
want income. The fine house & grounds & product of 
the Farm with an annuity of $3000. is settled on her 
for life. There is a distinction between the nephews & 
nieces. Elias Boudinot has Rose Hill, the most favoured, 
including Aunt Patty $10,000. It will gratify you to 
learn that I am mentioned aff[ectionatel]y & have a 
legacy of some 2000 acres of land, but where or what 
value or when to be given time will disclose. It is at 
any rate a gratifying mark of recognition which I did 
not look for. . . . 

New York, Sat^ 3^ Nov., 1821. 2 p. m. 

It is time that my letter to my dearest daughter 
should be commenced. My last was on the 25*'' Ult" 
from Burlington informing you of the decease of our 
venerable relation Doctor Boudinot, on the 24*'', and as 
far as my time w*^ permit of the particulars attending his 
last hours. On Friday his remains were interred in the 
Church Yard of Burlington along side of those of his 
late consort, and where a space is reserved for those 
of his only and beloved daughter Cousin Susan Brad- 
ford, when her earthly course shall be finished. A 
large concourse of friends & relations attended, and 
what was particularly honourable, a deputation of four 
gentlemen, Managers of the A[merican] B[ible] 


S[ociety] came on from N York at very short notice, and 
arrived in season to follow the corpse to the grave. A 
very appropriate discourse was delivered in S* Marys 
Church by the Rev. Doc* Wharton, who will feel the loss 
of his aged friend more sensibly than any person in Bur- 
lington not a relation. His feelings in his study when 
I called on [him] were evidence of the sincerity of his 
heart. Indeed all who knew loved and esteemed the 
good Doctor. An excellent obituary has been drawn up 
by M'' Bayard, copy of which I will send you and pre- 
serve it. Having discharged the last ofi&ces and taken 
a tender leave of M'' Bradford, who has behaved like an 
angel, and probably a final adieu of my kind Burlington 
friends, I returned home with the N York gentlemen 
on Sat^, and arrived safe, thank God to the arms of my 
dearest Wife & daughter at 8 in the evening. 

Tuesday [November] 6*^. . . . You have known 
from my former correspondence the interest I have taken 
in the Gen. Theological Seminary of my Church & of 
the difference opinions respecting the pretensions to IVI'" 
Sherred's legacy. A special General Convention met on 
the subject, last week, in Philad^ and I am happy to say 
that this business has been amicably terminated by a 
Resolution to remove the Seixdnary from New Haven 
to this State, where it is to be permanently established, 
and the mutual concessions upon the whole, as favour- 
able as c*^ be expected. The Diocesans of this State will 
possess ample power, but the Seminary is to be under 
the control of the General Convention. Thus I am, for 
one, relieved from a weight that has long oppressed, and 
as the decision is in favour of the line of conduct pur- 
sued by me, uniformly, from the first, it is matter of 
greater joy to me, as I cannot be reproached with any 
thing selfish or personal. Instead of schism, I trust that 
unity & harmony will henceforward prevail, and altho' I 
cannot look for any place of trust, of w** I am thank God 
unambitious, still such services as may be in my power 
to render, to save the institution, shall not be wanting. 
That I have been a humble instrument of promoting 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1821 103 

a legacy w^ will give stability & permanency to the Sem^ 
is a gratification that will reward me for all my pains & 

We have had a N. Easterly storm for 3 days, w"" it 
is said has been very severe at sea. No arrivals of course 
either from Europe or your quarter. The accounts of a 
short crop in England has started the price of flour to 
8 Dollars & given quite a spirit to speculation in bread 
stuffs, to the great benefit of the Farmers esp^ the West- 
ern who have languished under the long depressed 
market for their crops. Your bread will of course come 
higher, but the favourable prices will give animation to 
your city, & help the Doctor's patients to pay good bills 
with more cheerfulness. I sent him lately a recent work 
on the Canals, but c*^ have wished him to have been, 
present when, on Sunday even^ Gov'" Clinton was tracing 
on the map the progress of the works, & what remains 
to be accomplished. He says that the whole line will be 
completed in 2 years. What a singular hard fate is that 
of a public character. Let his services be ever so emi- 
nent & beneficial he is sacrificed to the passions of party. 
Such was the lot of Hamilton & such is to be that of my 
friend M"" Clinton. I can employ that term to a falling 
statesman without imputation of vanity or selfish mo- 
tives. Indeed he has been my friend, in the worst of 
times. Black w*^ be that ingratitude w^ w*^ desert him 
when the world forsakes him. Indeed I promise myself 
much happiness sh*^ he reside at his seat at Newtown, 
where I can visit him without sycophancy, and on the 
footing of a private gentleman. I cannot think however 
that such talents as M"" Clintons will be allowed to be 
lost to his country, after the asperity of party shall have 
subsided. In retirement he will have leisure to review 
his political career, to correct his errors, improve his 
mind, and sh^ he be called to act once more on the 
theatre of State, to reappear with all the advantages re- 
sulting from experience and reflection. 

Thurs^ [November 8] 7 A. M. . . . The fact is my 


ofiSce duties which were thrown back by my late visit to 
Burlington, press hard upon me, so that I have had 
scarcely a moment to receive & reciprocate the numer- 
ous congratulations of my episcopal brethren on the late 
happy termination of the Convention. Bishop Brownell 
called on me a few moments yest^ to inform me of his 
satisfaction. Altho' I am persuaded that the present 
situation of the Seminary at New Haven is highly fa- 
vourable, still as it was necessary to transfer it to this 
State, it may ultimately be fixed at Greenwich Villagej^"^ 
where M"" Clement Moore has made a valuable donation 
of land, on w^ to erect the buildings that may be re- 
quired. It is not probable that I shall have any concern 
in the management of the Institution, further than to 
render any personal services if required, as I informed 
Bp. Hobart I sh*^ do if such services as were in my power 
were wanted. I thought it my duty to wait on him 
immed'' with the sincere expressions of my approbation, 
as some collision had occurred between us, not personal, 
however, only that some warm expressions of the mo- 
ment had been ofi&ciously repeated to him. A mag- 
nanimous mind however never thanks these intermed- 
dling sycophants, and tho' he is obliged to listen, de- 
spised their motives. All now is peace & harmony, and 
I devoutly pray that so it may always continue. A meet- 
ing of the Trustees is to take place in a month when the 
transfer of the Seminary, and its future regulations wiU 
be decided. 

1/2 past 8. I have just seen M' Russel who says that 
the Edward is coming up & that probably the Monroe 
will not be despatched until tomorrow, w^ may afford 
opp° to acknowledge rec* of any letter by her. M'' R's 
wife has a great foresight of arrivals & told him the Edw*^ 
was to arrive yest^. On returning at night & laughing 
at her she remarked that the Edward was below. Sure 
enough. He says that she is always pretty certain in 

5* Rather in the section of the city known as Chelsea. The General 
Theological Seminary is still located in the block bounded by Ninth 
and Tenth Avenues, 20th-21st Streets. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1821 105 

her guesses. 8 passengers that were to go in the Monroe 
stay over for the Edward, w'' is to sail next Sunday 
week. . . . 

Friday 9*\ 7 A. M. The Brig is to sail at 8. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Brig Monroe 

New York, Monday, 12*'^ Nov^ 1821 

My last was by the Brig Monroe which sailed 9^^ 
inst. Your letter my dearest daughter of 6^^ Oct. post- 
mark 9^^ was rec*^ the 10**". The Brig Edward arrived & 
began to discharge the same day. This morn^ bright & 
early I was alongside and called on M"" Hartman to send 
alongside your 2 Firkins butter & Barrel of Buckwheat, 
directed to the Doctor, to take the Bill lading and I shall 
pay M" Russel the freight & primage, so that the annual 
present from your parents will come I hope safe to hand 
in season to give your bairns another treat of buckwheat 
cakes. ... I regret extremely that the Doctor's finances 
will not permit him to extend Eliza's education to one 
year, when she w*^ become confirmed in her attainments, 
but as she exemplifies such aptitude for learning, she has 
acquired probably, more in six months than some others 
would do in twelve. By undertaking to instruct her 
sisters she will retain what she has learned, and by study- 
ing to impart knowledge will refresh and perfect her 
mind and intellectual faculties. You will of course pre- 
scribe her a course of reading and with her little school 
and needlework her time will glide pleasantly along. Of 
the boys we will talk hereafter. When Pintard attains 
10 years it will be time to place him at a regular Acad- 
emy provided his Father concludes to give him & Mars- 
den classical education, by which time our kinsman M"" 
Bayard will have tested his capacity for educating lads 
for Columbia College, in this city, where the requisite 
attainments for admission are higher than I believe, in 
any other college in the U. S. On this subject I shall 
give a candid opinion, the boys education must not be 
slighted, for family considerations, and we have numer- 


ous academies in all directions, with excellent teachers, 
to give a wide range for choice, I sh*^ wish to have them 
near me, that if my life be spared I may superintend 
their course of studies as well as indulge them with 
visits during their holidays, if they behave well, to the 
city. But of all this in good time. 

Wed^ [November] W^ . . . Your Aunt Betsey is in 
town but I have not seen her, she called on Sat^ ev^ when 
I was at the Savings Bank, my usual resort that ev^. She 
is quite displeased, & I think with some cause, that she 
was not remembered by D"" Boudinot who left the Miss 
Wallace's ^^ $100 each to provide mourning but nothing 
to her. . . . M"" Bayard has not yet informed us where 
the bequest of land lies.^*^ I understand in Venango 
Co[unty,] Pensylv'' which lies on the Alleghany river, 
rough, lofty & sterile I fear, being part of Mes^^ Grif- 
fith & Wallaces purchase w^ the good old Doctor was 
obliged to take in payment for a large loan at the rate 
of $1 p"" acre. It may at the outside be possibly worth 
50 cents. Were half the quantity in some pleasant part 
of this state I sh*^ be induced to pull up stakes & go and 
cultivate it, and call it Boudinot. . . . 

Friday [November] 16. ... A little box contains a 
set of nine pins to amuse her ^'^ & Larned. Another one 
has an assortment of German figures, which will serve 
for her baby house, also 3 little boxes, for herself, sister 
& Larned. Silly enough but will do for children. A pack 
of sugar plumbs, but above all, the prettiest assortment 
of childrens books that I ever saw & which will amuse & 
instruct, & some for all from Eliza down. What w*^ I 

55 The codicil of Elias Boudinot's will left "To my dear friend Mrs. 
Tace Wallace and her four daughters, each, a suit of mourning . . ." 
The Last Will and Testament of Elias Boudinot LL.D. and the Codi- 
cil Thereto (Trenton, 1854), p. 24. 

56 The codicil of Elias Boudinot's will describes it: "a tract of three 
thousand five hundred acres of land (except a small plantation I have 
given to the Reverend Hezekiah May out of it) I purchased of the old 
Bank of the United States, through George Taylor, situate in the county 
of Venango, and state of Pennsylvania, about twenty miles from the 
town of Franklin, to and for the use, benefit and behoof of my dear and 
affectionate friend John Pintard . . ." Ibid., p. 24. 

67 Mary Davidson. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1821 107 

not have thought, indeed yourself, at their age to have 
such a present for Christmas. You will apportion them 
as you may judge best not forgetting little Larneds 
A. B. C. book. A few silverings are added for Xmas & 
New Years, w*" reserve for that period. By these tokens 
you will see how near my heart your flock lies. I cannot 
have the gratification of presenting them personally, nor 
of reading the beautiful little nursery songs &c. w" once 
delighted me. The book containing them ought to be 
preserved as a curiosity. I had only time to peep in it, 
which revived my nursling days. A pamphlet pasted up, 
possibly from Francis, is just thrown on my table. He 
told me that Denham was in binding & promised it to 
go by this oppo[rtunity.] He may be disappointed, in 
w" case it shall, if rec*^ be forwarded by the next, as I 
must inclose this in Marys Box. I shall not have time 
to expatiate, my time being so much engrossed, indeed 
what further have I to say. With politics, I am sick. 
Our Convention has risen and given in a constitution, 
level with the lowest dregs of democracy. Thank God, 
the sin is not at my door. I neither voted for a Con- 
vention nor shall I for the adoption of their misbegotten 
urchin. So let it pass, and be rued as it will be by the 
authors who after a short inglorious triumph will be 
hurled from power to give place to the vilest of the 
vile. . . . 

Saturday [November] l?***. The sailing of the Ed- 
ward is delayed until Wed^. I have just rec** your letter 
of 2P* Ocf, which I dare not carry upstairs as the Fowl- 
ing piece is a secret between me & Pintard. 

Near 2 p. m. A rainy day. I have just come from 
above stairs where I have been settling with all the 
heirs of my friend David Coutant dec [ease] d for the 
rents rec*^ the last 12 months. There were some little 
points of difference w*" have been harmoniously ar- 

Tuesday [November] 20*^ 9 A. M. M^ Metcalf just 
called to inform me that he was to sail in the Edward 


tomorrow morn^ & asked my commands. I thanked him 
& told him that I sh*^ put my letters in the ship's bag, w" 
w^ reach the Doctor sooner than by passengers. 

Adieu every blessing of time and eternity be yours. 
Your fond father 

J. Pintard 
Sister & Mama join in cordial love. 
The Fanny is to arrive this, and the Phoebe Ann 
next week, by return of which I shall write again. 
[Addressed:] By Brig Edward 
Cap* Hallett 

New York, Sat^ 24*'" Nov^ 1821 

My dearest daughters letter of 7*" inst was rec*^ yest^ 
by the Edward 17 days after date. What a remarkable 
passage your friend M""^ Chew had, & how fortunate to 
have escaped the dreadful alarm of fire, from the direful 
effects of which M'' Chews dwelling has been so provi- 
dentially rescued. ... I concluded it best to inform 
Mama of the little gun, who remarked that it was in- 
judicious. . . . With you I enjoy the happiness this pres- 
ent afforded my namesake & rejoice that Marsden is like- 
wise contented with his guns and little box. . . . 

The M"" Griffith who called on you is named after my 
worthy friend his Father, William. He is a remarkable 
fine young man. The following is the story of his migra- 
tion to Natchez. His brother John married a Miss Aber- 
crombie. After enterprizing as a lawyer in Phil^, not 
succeding he went as a trader to Natchez & failed. His 
brother William hearing it, & being just licensed, re- 
solved to join his brother in practice & save him from 
misery. This he did, and they are both well established 
& successful beyond anticipation in their profession. 
Their Mother went to see them last winter. William 
became acquainted with your young friend & married, 
both very young & no doubt very happy. He is amiable, 
a great mechanical genius, & his father says, of eminent 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1821 109 

talents. I rejoice for my good friends sake, as these boys 
will be their mother's support. . . . 

Monday, 26. Nov, celebrated as the Anniv^ of the 
Evacuation of this city, on the 25*" Nov' 1783, by the 
British garrison, the consummation of Am. Independ- 
ence. The only participation suitable to my years & 
inclination, will be in attending at 3 o'clock, the opening 
of the Mechanic's Academy, a handsome edifice that has 
been recently erected w" is also to contain the Appren- 
tices Library w" has grown to a considerable magnitude. 
Having taken great interest in the success of both these 
institutions, I consider it a duty to pay this tribute of 
respect to the Mechanic Society. The day is celebrated 
with increasing splendor. The Militia Officers dine to- 
gether & in the evening are to attend the Theatre, the 
whole range of Boxes being engaged by them with a large 
portion of the pit. The Ladies to occupy the 2^ row. 
The appearance of the New Theatre will be resplendant 
& dazzling quite a la militaire, a novelty in this city. I 
have had to be call[ed] off, 12 o'clock, to look at the 
gay militia passing thro' Wall Street. Every season adds 
some new corps. The Riflemen look very well, as also 
a company of Scotch, dressed in Tartan plaid, playing 
"my bonny Highland ladie." The national songs & airs 
of the Scotch are my delight. . . . 

Dec"" 1. Yesterday we had as hard a snow storm at 
N. E. as midwinter. The streets are covered with snow 
this day. M"" Bayard is with us, since Thursday & stays 
on business a week or more. He says that the land be- 
queathed by our venerable relative is regarded as valu- 
able. It is in Venango C** Penns^ lying on the Alleghany 
river, & w^ in time may be a leading intercourse between 
Lake Erie & Pittsburg, indeed there is a partial naviga- 
tion at present. At all events the bequest may prove 
valuable to you & y"* dear sister. . . . 

Monday 3** Dec"", just before 3. A Fine day after the 
late snow & rain has brought an incessant run of stock- 
holders for Dividends into my office. Almost beaten 
down I must jog on with this letter as the Fanny is to 


sail on Wed^ & the little box for Larned must go on 
board. I must fill it, for lack of other notions with 
cookies & a box on the outside containing some articles 
of tin household wares for him & his dear sisters to 
play baby house. . . . 

Tuesday 4*'' Dec"". ... A daily paper contains D"" 
Boudinots legacies, w'' redound greatly to his estimable 
character. M"" Bayard tells Mama & Sister, who are very 
inquisitive, that our legacy of 3000 Acres lies in Venango 
C P'' & were bought several years ago from the old B'' of 
the U States, on winding up its concerns at $2 the acre, 
& are considered worth $4: at present & that the other 
Heirs of $10,000, after M" Bradfords decease consider 
this bequest as most valuable. Immediate title is to be 
conveyed. Venango C" is in the N. W. of Pens* its 
county town Franklin lies at the confluence of French 
Creek & Alleghany river, 70 miles north of Pittsburgh. 
In the former French Wars, these rivers were the travel- 
ling intercourse between Canada & the Ohio. The 
Co[unty] contains 3100 inhabitants, & Franklin is 25 
miles southeast of Meadville, w'' has 150 families, & in 
w** is situate Alleghany College, my friend Timothy 
Alden, President, so that in all probability, something 
beneficial to you & Sister will result. Mama talks of 

visiting her Manor of Boudinot At 4 I have to 

attend the Historical So[ciety], at 7, the Chamber of 
Commerce, tomorrow ev^ 7 Pauperism S", 8V2 sup with 
L* Col. Varick & his brethren of the N. Y. Cincinnati, an 
annual meeting to w'' I am honoured with an invitation. 
Thur'' 4 P. M. Bible S°, Friday 7 p. m. meeting of their 
Standing Com. & Sat^ Savings Bank. Thus my spare 
hours are allotted & I feel sometimes as I drag my weary 
limbs home at night as tho' I c^ lie down & die. But a 
dish of good tea & my domestic fireside & book soon re- 
vive & I retire at 10, quite composed. My bad pen has 
compelled me to have recourse to a Shaking Quaker pen, 
4 of which, it put me in mind to send you. When a little 
blunted, by scraping the sides delicately, it will refresh 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1821 111 

the point. Bear lightly when you write & they may serve 
you instead when you cannot get a better. 

[Addressed by:] Brig Fanny 

Cap^ Packard 
with a box 

New York, Friday 7**^ Dec', 1821 

Saturday 8^^. Snow & rain. Luckily towards ev^ 
yest^, after attending the meeting of the Stand^ Com. of 
the A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety] I had a moment to 
run down to the Wharf, & found Cap* Holmes in the 
Cabin with y"* monstrous Basket [of oranges], the cover 
off. The steward told me that they had been obliged 
to take about % that were spoiling, which is probable, 
but more have arrived in good condition, than all ever 
before rec*^ put together. The box of Figs & Andrew 
Warners Box, I brought home with me. 

Tuesday ll**" Dec^ A wet day. This morn^ the 
Firkin of pecans was sent home. . . . 

I experienced a very disagreeable sensation yest^ ev*^ 
when reading in the paper that a collection was made in 
the Ref^ Dutch Church of Phil* towards relieving the 
debt of the Presbyterian Church in N. Orleans & pre- 
venting its being sold for a Theatre. . . . How different 
the liberality of the Rev. Doctor Masons Congregation. 
He has been obliged by reason of ill health, to decline 
his pastoral duties, and has accepted the presidency of 
Dickenson College in Carlile, Pens*. He preached his 
farewell sermon to an overflowing auditory on Sunday 
the 2^ inst. The Rev. D"" Romeyn paid him the compli- 
ment, to close his own Church & with all of his Congre- 
gation attended on this occasion. It was Sacrament 
Sunday at Grace, or I should have gone likewise. On 
leaving his flock, a subscription of $2000 was raisced] as a 
token of their affection. One gentleman presented him 


with a full suit of [MS. torn] and 12 gentlemen had 
packed up 1 doz. of choice old Madeira each, w^ was sent 
rouncd] unknown to him with his effects to Phil^. . . . 
Saturd^ [December] 15^". . . . Your dear boys, Cap* 
Holmes informed me, admired his Fur Cap & desired him 
[to re]quest Grandpa to send them each one. I had this 
on my mind before, & a[m sorry] that I did not antici- 
pate their wishes by the Fanny. I shall send them by 
[MS. tor7i] and not to excite any heartburnings have or- 
dered 3 beautiful seal skin caps with gold bands for each 
of the boys and 3 chinchilles with silver bands & tassels 
for each of the girls. They are all the ton here, are of 
the most elegant specimens, not slop shop w^ I c*^ have 
got much cheaper, but made expressly by a furrier. I 
fear they may be too warm for y'' climate. Fashion how- 
ever makes thin clothing warm at the north & furs, cool 
at the south. With care against moths, they will last 
many years. Not to enhance the favour, they cost $32. 
... I have also just made up the usual quarterly de- 
posit $3. each for the Bairns. . . . 

Sat^ [December] 22<^. Yest'' & this day, the rain has 
been such as to prevent the Brig from taking in her lad- 
ing, so that it is a chance that Cap* Holmes will not 
sail until the middle of next week. . . . Last Tuesday 
ev^ the African Epixcopal Church S* Philips was burnt 
to the ground, by which my ofl&ce will lose about $7500, a 
sum nearly sufficient to rebuilt it with Brick. It was a 
very neat wooden building. Their minister M"" Williams 
a very correct well informed man. The prudence of this 
congregation in making Insurance will ensure their suc- 
cess in applying to the wealthy Episcopalians for aid 
to rebuild. On the IS**" the Trustees of the Gen. Epis. 
Theo^ Sem^ met to organize the Institution in its new 
foundation. A complimentary offer was made to me by 
Bp. Hobart to become a Trustee, which I declined. I 
am unambitious of an honour attended with more duty 
than my time or talents can discharge. The professors 5, 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1821 113 

are more numerous than necessary, but it was blending, 
for the sake of harmony, the two conflicting schools. 
The choice of Doctor Turner for Biblical Criticism & D"" 
Wilson for System[at]ic Divinity, are worth all the rest 
& will ensure the success of the Institution, whcich: is to 
open next February, with probably 25 Scholars. What 
services if required, it may be in my power to render 
shall not be wanting. On the same day, the Rev. Mcr] 
Ware was ordained minister of the new Socinian Church 
in this city, a half way house to Infidelity, where old 
sinners & young may repose on velvet without haCving] 
their consciences disturbed. The following anecdote is 
so like the Rev. D"" Mason, [that] if not true, is very apt 
to be esteemed so. A M"" Sedgwick, who left his Church 
[to] join the Socinians, mecelting the Doctor in B'^way, 
last summer, said. Doctor, cl] left your congregation to 
join the Marble Church in Chamber Street. So I 
understand] replied the Doctor. It appears to me, says 
Sedgwick, to be a safe Turnpike to [heaven]. You may 
have to pay a Hell of a Toll, rejoined the Doctor as he 
moved [away.] After the ordination these convivial 
saints, adjourned to Broadway house [MS. torn] among 
numerous toasts was the following. "The Rev. Jared 
Sparks (one of [the] Chaplains of Congress, a vain as- 
suming conceited Socinian) A star from the Ea[st] to 
enlighten the We[st]" Had I been present I would have 
given as a volunte[er] "Lucifer, Star of [MS. torn] how 
art thou fallen." My dearest children, never be beguiled 
by the so[phist]ry of the unbelievers. Infidelity, disguise 
it as thou wilt, thou art a bitter pill. The Holy Scrip- 
tures and the Divinity of our Redeemer rest on surer 
foundations than the wisdom of this world. The young 
& thoughtless will be deluded. But I think Socinianism 
will not thrive in the city. Most of the Congregation 
are Boston emigrants. Strange that the land of Puri- 
tanical fanaticism sh"* have engendered such a serpent. 


New York, 26 Decern^ 1821 

A Happy Christmas to our dearest daughter, her good 
husband and large family of children, was the health 
drunk yesterday by your parents and Sister at their tran- 
quil board. . . . 

12 o'clock. I have just returned from an Auction 
Store, to examine y"" late Rev. Friend M"" Larned's library 
advertised for sale, tomorrow ev^, and see whether some 
may not suit our Theolog^ Library. The review of his 
Library gave me pain, for so young a Divine, it is a hand- 
some & valuable collection. I thought that the gilt 
books left, as you mentioned to his little namesake, were 
on the shelves, no doubt swept away among the rest by 
the Executors or Administrators. Poor M"" Larned, what 
a pang to his surviving friends, the current report, that 
the Church of his efforts sh*^ be sold to pay the debt con- 
traced for its building. . . . 

Thursday 27*'' Dec'. Cap* Holmes sailed yest'' at 12, 
with a fine wind at N. W. w*" has continued ever since. 
He will arrive at the Balize in a fortnight. I have this 
inst. (10 o'clock) rec*^ y"" letter by the Fulton w^ arrived 
yest'', also Elizas. ... I am really charmed with Elizas 
proficiency, as M. Le Fort says. . . . You adopt a right 
course in sending her to learn the mantua maker & 
milleners trades, w'' will always [be] useful, and in case 
of necessity, essential. . . . 

I had the honour yest^ of dining in company with 
Bp. Hobart, at the Rev. M"" Wainwrights Rector of 
Grace, together with D"" Milnor of S* George & Rev. pro- 
fessor Onderdonk, of Trinity. The topic was the interest 
of the Theol. Seminary, and I trust the information w^ 
my experience afforded me to give, was useful & ac- 
ceptable. There is a prospect of successful exertion, and 
perfect harmony & unity exists. In the evening I at- 
tended as Sec'' of the Chamber of Commerce, the Presi- 
dent, M"" Bayard,^^ together with a number of mer- 
chants, an introductory Lecture of M"" Griscom, to the 

58 William Bayard. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1821 115 

Merchants Apprentices and Clerks, of a course of Chem- 
istry & experimental Philosophy. A similar course is 
given to the young Mechanics of this city. The meet- 
ing was full, and Tickets issued to the N° of 155, a hand- 
some class. There is a great excitement this season in 
this city, in favour of scientific education, and I flatter 
myself that the time has at length arrived, when we shall 
wipe away the reproach that the citizens of N York are 
fit for & think of nothing else but making money. Seven 
years will change the complexion of our mercantile char- 
acter. By which time the uneducated fathers will be 
pretty much worn out, and their sons with higher endow- 
ments will take their places. More liberality will pre- 
vail, and as our Commerce extends so will the means 
for exercising and indulging it. My gratification consists 
in being somewhat instrumental in laying the founda- 
tions of institutions that will hereafter do honour to our 

Friday [December] 28*^. . . . You have rec*^ my let- 
ter from Burlington & kindly wish that D' Boudinots 
legacy may be of such a nature as to enable me to retire 
& spend the remainder of my days in quiet and prepara- 
tion for my departure hence. This as you will have 
heard is not the case. The land will be of some value 
to your children & Sister. All I can expect is to pay 
the taxes & if possible preserve it from dilapidation. To 
jog on therefore in my vocation is my lot, therewith to 
be content, is my duty. Had I pursued a sordid rigid 
economy, denied my family every comfort, laid up every 
cent, & lived a mean despicable wretch, I might now 
have shrunk within my shell, inglorious & despised. As 
it is, having lived comfortably, tho' necessarily without 
hospitality, beyond my family connections, & having 
been liberal, perhaps beyond cool calculating prudence, 
in my contributions to promote public & benevolent in- 
stitutions, I have been able thank God to maintain a 
share of consequence & respectability among my fellow 
citizens, far beyond what I could have hoped for from 
my humble sphere. My opinions are consulted & re- 


spected, and my associations are of the highest order 
both intellectually, & in everything, but politics, from 
w" I have totally withdrawn. Tho' differing in sentiment 
with the predominant party, still I live in good fellow- 
ship with the bitterest foes of my good friend Gov"" 
Clinton, not allowing private amities to be severed by 
political differences. We agree to differ, laugh at each 
other & the dupes of party leaders, and part good friends. 
You will think me a la Mitchill I fear, but I mention 
these alleviating circumstances in the page of my book 
of life, that you sh*^ not deem it all with me, vanity & 
vexation of spirit. Few men of my period enjoy better 
health, better spirits & I trust few are more useful to 
Society, than your Father. To leave a good name behind 
will my dearest daughter be a source I trust of future 
consolation to you. To be ranked among the benefactors 
of mankind is a laudable ambition, which if not pursued 
to the injury of any one, nor from mere selfish motives 
of gross vanity is the impulse to evercy g]enerous effort 
that distinguishes the noble from the ignoble mind. . . . 
Sat^ [December] 29*''. . . . Our good aged Aunt 
Hanson (86) enjoys astonishing health & is exceedingly 
comfortably lodged, more so than she has been for years. 
She wears very [well] but her memory fails. This faculty 
wears out sooner than those of the body. 

[Addressed:] By Brig Mexico 

Cap* Stanwood 


To Mrs. Richard Davidson (Eliza Noel Pintard) 
of New Orleans 

New York, Wed^ 2^ January, 1822 

.... The old year went out and the new came in 
remarkably mild, and this day is equal to April. The 
old fashioned anniversary visits and kind greetings were 
observed with all usual, indeed, increasing attention, and 
the custom of the simple Dutch settlers is so rivetted I 
hope, as to resist the innovations of all interlopers. At 
our festive board yesterday dined Aunt Helen & family, 
M" & M" Weeks, John Brasher was engaged but came 
to coffee, M"^ & M" Searle of Madeira & their brother 
from Fayal who arrived yesterday morning. Mama & 
Sister gave a very genteel dinner with all the accom- 
paniments. We drank with great cordiality the health 
of our dearest children in N. Orleans & all their friends. 
God bless you all. We had many friendly calls, & Mama 
& Sister managed it so as to receive them. This day & 
tomorrow, the Clergy as customary return their compli- 
mentary visits. 

Tuesday 8*^ Jan^. Hard rain, from early snow, w** 
prevents the Fulton sailing this day, extensive cold on 
Friday & Sat^ prevented her departing on Sunday. I 
was called on by the Agent of the A[merican] B[ible] 
S[ociety] at a short notice & late hour Saf" 4 P. M. to 
give a line of introduction in favour of the Rev. M"" Gib- 
son who is to sail in the Steam Ship, to visit N. Orleans 
& vicinity to solicit aid for the A. B. S. revive old & 
organize new societies. I c** not as Sec^ decline. A plain 
minister will be thankful for any attention. I sent in an 
envelope, Gov. Clintons admirable speech, called by his 
Foes his Valedictory, the notes of the Dying Swan. It 
is much applauded as the best of all his speeches & the 
development of the resources of this mighty state will 


astonish not only our own country but the European 
World. The new Constitution will undoubtedly be swal- 
lowed, a bitter pill. M"" Clinton will go into retirement 
but not obscurity. If his life be spared he will again 
resuscitate. I hope I may live to see it. On Wed^ ev^ 
your dear Sister went to the first private party of any 
distinction she ever attended, Miss Kortrights, a young 
daughter of M" Judge Livingston, very genteel, very 
numerous & brilliant. The fashionable hour is to go half 
past 8, & return by 2, or earlier. Sister like a good girl 
was home half past 12, Mama kindly sitting up for her. 
The evening propitiously was mild. She was attended 
by her cousin J, P. Brasher, quite a genteel young man, 
but very delicate in health, too much so for these re- 
iterated parties. . . . 

Wed^ 9*" Jan^. All hail my dearest beloved daughter, 
on the birth of your 7^^ child. The Doctors favour with 
the little lock of hair, is just rec** announcing this happy 
event. . . . Your firm constitution, & the chubby face 
of dear little Helen, flatter us with the hope that you 
have had a good getting up. . . . 

Aunt Helen takes tea this evening when her name- 
sake will be announced. Mama I believe waited the 
issue before imparting your proposed compliment w^ no 
doubt will be acceptable. 

21/2 p. m. An oppo[rtunity] offers by Sea next Sun- 
day, & as passages are shorter, at this season than the 
mail, I believe that I shall send this by the Brig Azores 
Cap* Nicholls. Had y"" letter arrived in the storm of 
yest^, I might have acknowledged it by the Fulton w** 
did not sail until this morn^ detained by the weather. 
At any rate I wish to make some progress in case of 
sending it by tomorrows mail, as you will be solicitous 
to learn that the tidings of your accouchement have 
safely reached us. ... I am pleased to learn that a 
brother ^ of the Doctor is with you, the first of his family, 
I believe, that has ever seen you or the children, who 
will I hope be glad to see their paternal relation. He 

1 Abner Davidson. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1822 119 

must have been surprized to have witnessed so large a 
flock. The Doctor speaks proudly of his brother, which 
I hope your good opinion will confirm. It will be adding 
to your social circle sh*^ he find it compatible with his 
views to settle near you. Is he a merchant adventurer, 
from Kanetuck, but we must speak modestly of these 
westerns who are one day to tyrannize over the Atlantic 
states. I hope to be out of their reach first. Gen. Jack- 
son is a fair sample of the exercise of power. Fine Demo- 
crats surely! All your emigrant friends have returned, 
& many more. Your B*^ of Health must plume them- 
selves on the success of their restrictive system. I hope 
it will be pursued, tho' no doubt it may meet oppugna- 
tion from those whose opinions or interests do not ac- 
cord with Quarantine laws. . . . 

Thur^ 10 Jan^. Every appearance of Snow. . . . The 
cold was so severe yest^ aft.noon that Aunt Helen, pru- 
dently, did not come to tea. At evening we toasted en 
famille, your good health & little Helen's. . . . 

We have little news. I have not time to say anything 
either of state politics or city affairs, all which however 
are promising, except the ostracism of my friend Gov. 
Clinton, but retirement may best promote his future use- 
fulness. He is a great, a very great statesman. Remem- 
ber us kindly to y"* friends M" Chew & M" Wyer. . . . 
[Addressed:] p' post 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

New York, IV" Jan^ 1822 

I had the pleasure yest^ of viewing in the Customs H** 
Store a Case of the Editions in For[eign] languages pub- 
lished by the Br[itish] & For[eign] B[ible] S[ociety] a 
splendid present to the N[ew] J[ersey] B[ible] 
S[ociety] to be transferred, as you told me, to y"" Semi- 
nary. This is right, & I am glad of it. Last week I 
went to see the Rev. D"" Masons Library, w" made my 


mouth water. It is magnificent beyond my expectations 
& richly worth $10,000. It w'^ be extremely difficult to 
accomplish so valuable a selection of high TheoP Works 
for such a sum even by sending an agent to Europe ex- 
pressly for the purpose. I hope that no fastidious sec- 
tarian jealousies will obstruct the contemplated union 
& prevent the transfer of these books to y"" Library, when 
it will be rich indeed. 

To Mrs. Davidson 

New York, IP^ Jan^, 1822 

Sat^ 12*^. The sailing of the Brig [Azores] is deferred 
until Tues^ next. My beloved daughter, when at our din- 
ner yest^ your most welcome letter of the 22*^ Dec"" by 
the Edward, was sent up, & read by me to your dear 
mother & sister, as the high desert to our repast. . . . 
The Doctor mentioned in his letter, that the Babe was 
perfect & chubby. By y"" fond description, it must be 
beautiful. How doubly grateful are presents rec*' from 
dear friends to whom we are attached by reciprocal, kind 
interchanges. The tokens from your dear friend M" 
Larned proves that, tho' far removed, she has not for- 
gotten you, and that from M" Winter marks a grateful 
character. Your lively friend M"" Wyer has likewise 
sent her offering. ... I am glad that the butter proves 
so exquisite. I called, in my ev^ walk, on M' Hartman 
& told him of our luck. He took great pains in the se- 
lection & packing & put up one Firken with a cover, a 
clean piece of linen, covered with salt, & the other with 
two heads in the usual way. He wishes to know w"" suc- 
ceeds best, for our future government. . . . 

I regret extremely that y"" dear daughter Eliza was 
not gratified by her Fathers attendance at her examina- 
tion. The friends & parents of most [of] the other chil- 
dren present, she must have felt forsaken eno[ugh] to 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1822 121 

damp her spirits. How deserted in my infancy I always 
regarded myself. . . . 

Monday 14"" Jan. . . . You mention the Doctor's 
brother & that you are pleased with him, as a modest 
agreeable young man. We are very apt in the Atlantic 
States, to associate somewhat rustic if not savage with 
Kentucky. Not so with Ohio, w'' being settled more by 
Jersey & Eastern emigrants, are better known. Ken- 
tucky boatmen to be sure are half horse, half alligator, 
but when I was at N. Orleans, it was easy to discriminate 
between the young adventurers to that city & their hardy 
watermen. Their appearance impressed me very favour- 
ably. They were intelligent, tho' not refined, far from 
rustic, wild enough & wofuUy addicted to gambling, a 
fault of w*" I hope y" brother is free. Like most Ameri- 
cans they are composed of very malleable stuff, readily 
susceptible of polish, but like most half educated people, 
I speak of the mass, more disposed to catch the vices than 
the virtues of refined Society. . . . 

Tuesday 15'*'. A southerly [wind] w*" has mitigated 
the extreme cold of yest^ prevents the departure of the 
Azores, until, perhaps, tomorrow. The Edward is to sail 
next Tuesday by w*" I shall write again & very possibly 
will arrive before this gets [to you.] 

lOYo o'clock. I have just ret[urne]d from giving my 
Vote against the new Constitution, ineffectual I know, 
but my duty is discharged. An election more important 
in its consequences than any other that has or can take 
place, is attended with an apathy that appals one. Fewer 
votes will probably be taken than at a common election 
for Corporation officers. The case is considered 
de[s]perate by those who are most concerned, they will 
either not vote, or many of them vote for the adoption 
of this, dreading a worse constitution. All power is to be 
given, by the right of universal suffrage, to a mass of 
people, esp'' in this city, which has no stake in Society. 
It is easier to raise a mob than to quell it, and we shall 
hereafter be governed by rank democracy. The agitators. 


the authors of this new constitution will be among the 
first to rue its effects. Sorry consolation when the in- 
fatuated demagogues of the day are involved in one 
common ruin with the virtuous and discreet. My lease 
however short, will be long enough I fear to witness the 
truth of my gloomy forebodings. Seven years will not 
elapse, before those who have digged a pit for others 
shall have fallen into it themselves. Alas that the proud 
state of N York sh** be engulphed in the abyss of 
ruin. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Brig Azores 
Cap* NichoUs 

New York, Wed. 16 Jan^ 1822 

Last afternoon I dropped a letter in the letter bag 
of the Azores, in expectation of her sailing this day, but 
the wind is unfavourable. From extreme cold the 
weather, coming from y"" quarter, changed suddenly to 
unusual temperature, & is this day very moderate. Every 
body complained of headachs, by the instanteous relaxa- 
tion of the System w^ had braced to the freezing point. 
Fortunately Sister will have a mild evening to attend 
her Cousin Julias party. She will not I hope be exposed 
to the consequences of leaving overheated rooms, to the 
chill of midnight air, too fatal I am persuaded to the 
females of our city, who go clad in gossimer dresses 
adapted to London or Paris, whereas prudence w*^ dictate 
dresses more consonant to a Russian climate, tho I be- 
lieve that the influence of Fashion extends even to S* 
Peterburgh. I know not however whether pulmonary 
complaints so dreadfully devastating with us are inci- 
dent to the high European latitudes. In this respect you 
are better off, and in the winter season y*" climate is para- 
disaical. In former times valetudinarians were sent from 
the French West India islands to recruit in N. Orleans 
during the winter, the air being considered by the phy- 
sicians of that day so salubrious. Another anecdote of 
N. 0. in the olden time w'' possibly I have before told. 


An old mans tales are new only to himself. After the 
explosion of the famous Mississipi infatuation, at the 
commencement of the last century, when the very dust 
of the country was all gold, N. Orleans became so un- 
popular with the French, that culprits, esp'' from the 
islands were banished there. It became the Botany bay 
of the mother country. Many families are derived from 
this source, which are now respectable for wealth & 
character. M"" Vauvett[?] told me that when he was 
infant the nurses used to quiet & restrain unruly children 
in France, by telHng them that they sh*^ be sent to N. Or- 
leans, w'' gave him such an unfavourable impression of 
the country, that he always regarded it as the recep- 
tacle of the off-scouring of creation. The best blood of 
Louisiana has sprung from the military officers, who 
progresively settled there, the Marignys &c : of that class, 
the same as Quebeck & Canada, w** however was settled 
by a class of emigrants superior to most from Europe. 
When discoursing on this subject in 1802, I found that 
the N. Orleanois, shifted their expulsed malefactors to 
Natchez & from thence to the Missouri, holding the set- 
tlers in those places in as great abhorrence as the Eu- 
ropeans did the people of y"" city. But a century or more 
has washed away all these stains, & like many families 
of Maryland Virginia &c. the taint has evaporated by 
the process of refinement arising from successful in- 

Sat'' 19 Jan''. The Azores still lies in port. A suc- 
cession of S° weather with your Missippi Fogs, have 
prevented her departure. The Edward is up for Thur'' 
24*'' & probably this letter by her will reach you soonest. 
I shall endeavour to prevail on Mama to write by her & 
to give you a description of 2 parties which Sister at- 
tended this week, her Cousin Julia Weeks on Thur^ & 
M'"^ Delaplaines last ev^ where Mama accompanied her. 
Sister was much delighted with the first being a juvenile 
party. She was attended by M"" Searle recently from 
Fayal, who dined with us on [New] Year, a family re- 
lation. He is a gentleman, pure homely, but of many 


attainments, speaking 7 languages, very musical, and a 
humourist, who kept the company alive with his songs, 
Duets &c. He likewise, with y"* Cousin John Brasher, 
waited on Mama & Sister last night. Your Sisters ap- 
pearance was very favourable, chastly dressed as becomes 
Mama's taste, indeed her own, for she is not given to 
finery. Her Cousin said she was the Belle of his Sisters 
party, this will please you. . . . 

Wed^ 23*^ Jan^. After a uncommonly long succession 
of S" foggy weather, the wind changed last night to N. W. 
w*" will permit the sailing this day of upwards 60 vessels 
that have been wind bound, among the rest the Azores. 
. . . Your sister has been to two parties & goes this ev^ 
to M""^ Dunscombs formerly Miss Abeel. Mama attends 
her. On Wed^ ev^ next she returns the compli- 
ment. . . . 

Yesterday 22*^ our new market (Fulton) was opened. 
It is an elegant quadrangular structure, superior in ac- 
commodation perhaps to any thing of the kind, probably 
even in Europe. The abundant display of every variety 
of Meats, Fish & Game, exceeded any thing that I have 
witnessed in this city. The paper accompanying this 
gives a favourable record to which I refer, & particularly 
to the humourous account of the meeting of the Rats in 
the old Fly Market, drawn up with great wit & spirit by 
a M"" Walker of the Daily Advertiser, who conducts the 
printing department. 
[Addressed:] By Brig Edward 
Cap* Hallett 

To Doctor Richard Davidson, of New Orleans 

New York, 24*-^ Jan^ 1822 
My dear Sir 

I put on board the Brig Edward yest^ afternoon, a 
small packet containing my dearest daughters shawl w'' 
had been overlooked by her Mama, in it are letters from 
her Mama & myself, likewise a Sermon of D"" Mason, on 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1822 125 

taking leave of his congregation w** has excited consider- 
able sensation among the Socinians in this city. The 
Doctor is a rough hewer and not very ceremonious as to 
his expressions. He has treated these Traitors to their 
Redeemer as they deserve, they may writhe & foam, but 
all their sophistry and plausibility will not stand the test 
of sound argument. 

The weather is extremely cold, after a succession of 
unusual mild southerly winds which had covered us with 
continued fogs. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Brig Edward 
Cap' Hallett 

To Mrs. Davidson 

New York, Thur^ 3P* Jan^ 1822 

.... I can hardly express the buoyancy of my spirits 
this morning in consequence of the very agreeable result 
of a splendid party given by your dear Sister last eve- 
ning. You were informed that thro' the kindness of 
M''^ Livingston who invited & insisted on her attending 
her daughter Miss Kortrights first party has been the 
means of introducing her to notice, and she has accepted 
& attended several invitations since. Mama kindly con- 
sented to return these compliments and in a style w*" w*^ 
have charmed you. Every thing was elegant, abundant 
and cheerful, the particulars Sister will give you more 
minutely & correctly than is in my power. The impres- 
sion of the modern sylphs quite charmed me, but in my 
opinion tho more ease, certainly, prevails, modern man- 
ners are less dignified than those of the old school. 
There is a general prevailing fashion, among belles & 
beaux, to incline towards each other, w*" induces stooping 
& roundness of the shoulders, to my eye deforming their 
fine figures. I think your Aunt Helen, a fair example of 
the medium between the old & new school. Mama came 
on the stage before Cotillions were introduced, w*" first 
commenced in the time of Count de Moutier, French 


Minister, when Gen. Washington was the first president 
of Congress, but the ladies of that day, not being in- 
structed, rarely danced them. Aunt Helen succeeded 
when French dances were taught & when the too retired 
& stiff formality of the old School was blended with the 
grace of the modern, & had not degenerated into what 
I cannot but consider the too great familiarity of the 
present day. My judgment however on the only danc- 
ing party that I have witnessed in nearly 35 years. What 
changes have taken place in Society & manners in this 
long period. I thought your Aunt the most easy lady- 
like elegant dancer in person & movements of the whole 
assembly. It is moreover the first & only time that I 
ever witnessed her tripping the mazy dance. She was 
considered in her time not only the fairest of the fair 
but the most graceful dancer in this city. Mama tripped 
down the last dance, country dance, with great agility, 
but faded alas from the once aerial sylph that first 
beamed upon my delighted eyes. That delicate figure, 
the admiration of every circle, has attained the matrons 
rotundity with health, spirits & activity beyond any of 
her remaining contemporaries. I was lost in a forest of 
youth, not knowing, from my retired life, scarce a being 
in the rooms, but I leave a more perfect description to 
dear Sister, whose grateful heart overflows for this in- 
dulgence, Mamas kindness, & my efforts to render every 
thing agreeable. I must not omit to say, that M" Searles 
admirable performance on the Piano, excited astonish- 
ment & unbounded applause, & greatly enhanced the 
pleasures of the evening. My friend Francis, who is a 
musical enthusiast said, that he w*^ relinquish his pro- 
fession to perform as well. 

Friday P* Feb^. This foggy weather still hangs over 
us, with appearance of snow, of which we have only a 
single fall last week to admit a sleigh to run. ... A 
Death last week, M'^ Startin has engaged some atten- 
tion. She leaves a residuary legacy of about $15,000 
under the control of Bp. Hobart, to accumulate till it 
rounds S50,000 when a professorship to be called after 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1822 127 

her husband Charles Startin, is to be founded and the 
surplus to be applied to pious purposes. She left the 
Bishop $8000. To his honour it is to be mentioned that 
he declined being made residuary legatee. The property 
of my late friend M"" Sherred was sold this week & the 
am^ will yield about $55,000 to the Theol' Sem^. The 
subscriptions are in circulation in several Epis. Churches 
in this city. Grace Church to w*" we belong will probably 
endow a professorship, and Trinity, possibly, another, so 
that all things considered the Seminary is in a prosper- 
ous way. The new Institution opens on Tuesday 13'''', 
when probably 20 to 25 Scholars may appear. So much 
for ecclesiastical affairs. 

Saturday [February] 2"^. The weather cleared off 
last night, & we have a fine sun, for the first in many 
days. I saw at 9 the Edward preparing to sail with about 
30 other vessels w^ were all waiting for a wind. Our har- 
bour, now free from ice will probably continue open the 
remainder of the winter. What superiority we enjoy 
over the Chesapeake, Delaware & even Boston. The in- 
crease of our commerce is perceptible, as I notice that of 
N. Orleans is likewise. If on a safe secure principle with- 
out hazardous speculation, mercantile capital will in- 
crease in both cities & give life & confidence to all con- 
cerned. We are about attempting an Exchange & appli- 
cation is gone up to the Legislature to incorporate a 
company for the purpose, with a capital of $500,000, w^ 
will erect an Edifice that will do honour to the city. 
There is considerable excitement for improvement, and a 
spirit prevailing that cannot fail to promote the best 
interests of our Emporium, an invidious distinction, w" 
tho' true creates envy & jealousy. I do not think how- 
ever that we exult as much as our carping sister, Phila- 
delphia, w'' looks veiy obliquely at our prosperity, w^ is 
entirely owing to our geographical situation w^ like 
yours is the mart of great tributary streams, to be won- 
derfully extended on the completion of the G^ Canal in 
1823, A few years more, & we shall interlock the Hud- 
son with the Mississippi by the way of Ohio. What an 


immense line of inland navigation lies before us, not 
ideal but practical & real. What an age of wonders 
have I lived in. Centuries before do not comprehend 
the magnitude of revolutions & improvements that have 
occurred in the course of the last 50 years! To have 
witnessed such scenes is no ordinary felicity. 

Monday 4'^'' Feb^. A snowy day, to be noted this 
year as an ext[raordinar]y event. ... On Saturday ev^ 
after a more than usually early return from my duty at 
the Savings Bank, Bp. Hobart honoured me with a 
friendly call on the subject of M" Startin's bequest. 
Being intimately connected with the stock market I 
profered any intelligence in my power, so as to promote 
the interest of the residuary legacy, for w*" he expressed 
his thanks & accepted frankly & kindly. Whilst with me 
a very interesting young gent" - from Boston a student 
in the Th. Sem^ called to pay his respects. I introduced 
him to the Bishop. When at New Haven the affec* man- 
ners of this kind hearted youth attracted my attention. 
The kindness with w^ he spoke of his mother, I believe 
he is an only son, & that his first absence from home, won 
my affections. On presenting him to Mama & Sister, I 
told him to consider himself at home, & that he must 
frequently visit, & in case of sickness or any other cir- 
cumstance that he must look up to us. On taking leave, 
with eyes suffused with tears, he said, I did M"" P. look 
for a friendly welcome, but I did not expect so warm a 
reception to your bosom. Grateful youth. He is well 
educated, a graduate of Harvard, & will I dare anticipate 
be a faithful servant in his Divine Masters vineyard. 
On Thursday ev^ with some other of the pupils, he is 
[to] take coffee with us, so that dear Sister will be in- 
troduced to some very fine, intelligent young men. 

Tuesday 5*^ Feb^. . . . This is post day. I did not 
before know that the mail for N. Orleans is made up 3 

2 Probably William T. Potter, a graduate of Harvard, 1820, and of 
the General Theological Seminary, New York City, 1823. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1822 129 

times a week, Tuesday, Thur^ & Saturday, so that if I 
miss one day, another soon occurs. . . . 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

,, , ^. New York, 18 March, 1822 

My dear Sir, 

Your favour of IS*"" was rec"^ on Sat^. Agreeably to 
y"" request your ac [count] is herewith transmitted, 
bal[ance] $352.15 in y^ favour. The College Dividends 
1 April $137.25. City Stock int[erest] is not paid till 

I have but little time to reply to your letter. Altho' 
I rose at my summer hour 6, I have not till 10 found a 
moment to write & my office duties now commence. A 
slavish life, likely to be increased as our Clerk M'^ Tylee 
is leaving us, at a juncture, when preparing for May, 
the business is oppressive & augmenting every 6 
mo [nth] s in its details. It is probable that in addition 
to my own that I shall be expected to assume the clerks 
desk or resign. If my health is to be broken down I must 
in this case either be at the expense of clerk hire & take 
up with the bal[ance] of my salary, or act as discretion 
may dictate. Incessant confinement is worse than oc- 
cupation. But resignation is my duty. Thank God it 
cannot last long. I did expect that you w^ have been 
here by the P* to settle with Benjamin your [s] elf. 

We are all well & join in affec[tionate] love to all 

Y" sincerely 

J Pintard 

I had no idea that Samuel had been so poorly. I hope 
that the Spring season will restore him. 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

New York, 15 April, 1822. 1 p. m. 
Not until this day have I been able to get out of my 
Shop during Bank hours to draw your Interest in the 


B[an]k of the U. S., $17.25 & on Canal Stock, $120, cred- 
ited in y"* ace* as on the V^. There is a certificate in the 
Manhattan B[an]k for $5000, Canal Stock, w*" is prob- 
ably the Stock you call in y^ letter ''U. S. Stock pur- 
chased by M'' Lenox." My time pressed so hard, that I 
had scarcely a moment to draw the Interest, and I de- 
clined taking out the Certificate w" remains in the Man- 
hattan safe, until you come to town when you can in- 
vestigate the subject as you will have time, w" is no stock 
of mine, at command. 

I believe I told you that M^ Tylee, the late Clerk of 
the Mcutual] has left us, and as the duties devolve on 
me, I must get con as] well as I can, with my very intelli- 
gent lad Andrew Wcarner who] happily is very docile & 

Tuesday, 16*", 7 a. m. ... I have read with Diiu]ch 
pleasure, the address of M"" Hodge, Teacher of Oriental 
langucages at] y"" Th[eological] Sem^. It is [a] very 
handsome dissertation indeed for a [young] man and re- 
flects great honour on the Institution that turns cout 
su]ch scholars. He promises to become eminent in his 
profescsion and] an able defender of the doctrine of the 

I observe that you have suppressed another insurrec- 
tion. ^ The experience of more than half a century proves 
that these ebullitions are periodical, as the sap rises in 
the month of March. Might not an antidote be found, 
by terminating the winter session earlier, and letting 
loose these youthful bloodhounds by unkennelling the 
pack. I know by experience the difiiculty of restraining 
young ardent minds, who for the sheer fun of it are dis- 
posed, in plain English, to raise the Devil. The more 
the spring is compressed the greater is its resiliency. It 
may be worth an experiment to try the effects of my 

3 Among the students at the College of New Jersey (Princeton Uni- 

TO ms DAUGHTER, 1822 131 

prescription, unless the diflBculty of unhinging old & long 
established regulations sh*^ render it unadviseable, I re- 
gret always, that a new race of fools sh*^ succeed the old, 
and feel a lively concern for the reputation of Alma 

There is little foreign news. Our wiseacres at Al- 
bany, as you may have seen by the prints are attempting 
to tax our monied institutions, a suicidal act, w** para- 
lyzing the functions of the heart, will inevitably be felt 
at the extremities, but we hope the measure will be de- 
feated in the Senate. If the principle sh*^ be enacted, 
under whatever modification, I hope the constitutional- 
ity will be tried in the Sup. Co[urt] of the U. S. . . . 

Another legacy of $500 has been left to the A[meri- 
can] B[ible] S[ociety] by a M'^ Burger dec*^ of this city. 

To Mrs. Davidson 

New York, Tuesday 3*^ Sept., 1822 

My last of SO**" Aug*^ was sent by the Fanny w'' I 
presume sailed on Sunday, P* inst. My dearest daugh- 
ters letter of 3*^ Aug* was handed to me at N. Utrecht, by 
M"" Roberts, one of our fellow boarders, who came out 
in the ev^ I having gone in the morning, to make the 
most of my weekly furlough. I rejoice to hear that on 
that day y"" city enjoyed health, owing under Providence, 
to your improved medical police. We are severely suf- 
fering by our more careless & relaxed vigilance. The in- 
stance of the Hornet at Norfolk, must I think prove con- 
clusive to every candid mind, that altho' our maritime 
ports & great cities engender the seeds of pestilence 
within themselves, they cannot become active, without 
the introduction of a more powerful agent from abroad. 
We have the Gunpowder, but the spark must come from 
a more tropical clime. The Hornets crew arrived all in 
health, but the fatal contagion lurked in the bottom of 

^Pintard's letter of Aug. 30, 1822, and those he undoubtedly wrote 
to his daughter during the spring and summer of 1822, are missing from 
the collection owned by The New-York Historical Society. 


the hold, and I have no doubt that it was breaking up 
the ground tier of the Havanna cargo of Sugars, which 
put the deleterious miasma in motion & w*" spread such 
fatad] malignity at Rector Street Wharf & vicinity. Such 
is & has long been my theory of Yellow Fever, on w" 
principle every means internal & external sh*^ be 
vigour [ousjly adopted to guard against the introduction 
& extension. . . . 

Your letter dwells, very naturally, on the fate of your 
boys. M'' Bayards school is composed of children of 
our most respectable families, w*" is a great advantage 
as it keeps them from vulgar associations, and living 
within his Farm, with ample space & large enough for 
exercise, they are less exposed to contamination. His 
system of education is that prescribed for admission into 
Columbia College, w'' ranks among the foremost in point 
of classical learning. He has moreover an assistant for 
the younger classes. His terms, those of all our principal 
Schools, are too high, $250, Board, washing & education. 
The price is complained of, altho' the genteel families 
wish it kept up to prevent the introduction of vulgar 
boys, at a cheaper rate. I might possibly bargain for a 
reduction. In this case, your sons might not be consid- 
ered entitled to the same attention, & if apparently 
slightly, it might be remarked that their treatment was 
good eno[ugh] for a reduced pension. I do not wish 
them therefore to appear in forma pauperis, but to be on 
a fair footing with their mates. There are other good 
schools at Baskenridge, N. Jersey, Fairfield in Conn* & 
elsewhere cheaper, where boys are well educated, the 
terms of which I will endeavour to obtain. They w*^ not 
however be quite so accessible, altho' they c*^ always be 
with me in vacation. Besides the $250, each boy finds a 
cot, mattrass & bedding. His clothing and books are 
at his parents cost, plain & neat. Many schools have a 
costume, some near the city very expensive. One in 
particular where the cost is $500 a lad a year, the master 
finds clothing w*" is in the military style as they are 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1822 133 

taught tactics & every gymnastic exercise & where if I 
was rich I w*^ send ray boys. 

Wed'' 4*'' Sep*. Only 3 cases yest^ & 4 each the 3 pre- 
ceding days all in connection with the infected district, 
in w*" some are so foolhardy as yet to reside. We had a 
very heavy rain, the first in many weeks, on Monday 
aft.noon by w" I got completely drenched on going home 
from the Savings B" but changing my cloathes imm[edi- 
atel]y took no harm. The weather has since been cool, 
& this day the wind is fresh at N. W. w'' will purify our 
atmosphere & I hope check the further progress of the 
Fever. Besides its attendant distresses, a nefarious band 
of robbers have infested the deserted parts of the city. 
Stricter day & night watches together with a water 
guard are at length established, by w'' means future 
depredations will be prevented. No accident as yet has 
befallen us in Wall Street. 

Thurs'' 5*^ Sept. The fever seems confined to the 
infected district. 4 cases, all connected therewith yest^. 
An address in last evenings paper w^ will reach you, 
designates the infected from the healthy part of the 
city. I went over to Weehawk, oppo[site] Greenwich 
to see M"" Eastburns family, yest^ P. M. I wish I had 
timce to] describe the cro]mantic scenery of this part of 
N. Jersey. One need not wander to Niagara for greater 
wildness of country, delightful variegated prospects or 
variety of surface. Hills, dales, rocks, mountains & 
vallies. . . . 


To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

New York, 21 Feb^ 1823 

My dear Sir, 

My dear Sister your good wife returns this day, ice 
permitting. M'' Boyd talks of accompanying her to 
Brunswick to meet his lady, on a mournful visit to your 
brother John, whose fate I understand is very doubtful. 
What a series of afflictions have recently befallen your 
dearest family connections. Solemn warnings to surviv- 
ing friends. Let us lay them to heart. 

10 o'clock. M"" Boyd has just stepped in, he cannot 
go but will attend on Pattys crossing the ferry. The 
state of the river is favourable. 

We have little but stale news. Taxation is the order 
of the day, & every means devised both by the Legisla- 
ture & Corporation to lay the burthen on commerce, & 
monied Institutions w** if carried into effect will paralyze 
the prosperity of this city, & we shall not want the Ex- 
change that is contemplated, but w*" from the immense 
capital required for the bare locality, not less than 
$300,000, & about $500,000 for the Edifice may exceed 
all probability of rents so as to afford a reasonable in- 
terest from 5 to 6 p. c* on the stock subscribed which 
will not be difficult to raise, provided the income be sure, 
w'' is doubtful. 

Our Bible So[ciety] goes on propitiously. All op- 
pugnation tends to excite zeal, and however to be la- 
mented is all right, or we sh*^ grow indifferent & supine. 
I send you Bp. Hobarts address to the Epis. Convention 
of his diocese, with an angry report of the N. Y. 
Aux[iliary] B[ible] & C[ommon] Prayer Book So- 
[ciety]. My Bishop no doubt thinks himself right. I 
am sure that I do the same on my part, so we are at 


TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1823 135 

issue. Tho' I cannot accord in all points, it is my duty 
as a faithful son of our Church to reverence its head. 
Therefore I do not allow my difference of sentiment to 
interfere with the respect & courtesies due to him. . . . 
My best regards to my old Chum Ch. Justice Kirk- 
patrick & his excellent Wife. 

To Mrs. Davidson 

[New York, May 24, 1823] 

[MS. torn, several lines missing] that my daughter 
Eliza inherits her mothers neactness] [MS. torn] Cvilrtue 
so innate, that she cannot take up a knife [MS. torn] 
cho]wever clean, but what it must be wiped again. No 
outcwaird show, no broom clean work, but every particle 
of dust must be excluded, every shelf & drawer ransacked 
aired & reassorted, every bed, bedstead, Mattrass &c: 
aired & changed, and all from garret to cellar purified, 
and this not only under her own eye, but with her own 
hands. If a particle of sluttish blood runs in her chil- 
drens veins, the fault is mine & not hers. Indeed I am 
slovenly enough. In short Mother leaves me nothing 
to do, certainly not to fix my neckcloths without her aid. 
If Sister does it, all must be again refixed. God bless her 
& enable me, w" I never shall I fear, to reward her. 

Monday 26 May. The Edward arrived as the Fanny 
sailed, & is advertised to depart again this week. By 
her I will send this probably shor[t] letter, as I am de- 
voted this week to prepare my Stock Ledger, & make 
up my books for paying Dividend next Monday 2^ June. 
We have been favoured with cool weather, since the ex- 
treme heat of last week. Whilst Philadelphia is the seat 
of Ecclesiastical Assemblies and Conventions, N York is 
overflowing with visitors from all quarters to attend the 
grand races at Jamaica, which commence tomorrow. On 
Wed'' [sic] the great purse of $10,000 is to be run for 
between Eclipse & such other match as the Virginians 
on that morning shall produce. The Stakes are de- 


posited in the Branch Bank. The preparations for the 
admission & entertainment of company are immense. 
Had I a friend under whose care I c** place Mama & 
Sister, It w** gratify me, but as this is impossible, we 
do not even talk about what engross all conversation 
elsewhere. At 1, the race is to take place & telegraphs 
are established to convey the intelligence which ever 
[MS. torn, several lines missing] before the Revolution, 
[MS. torn] we all attended, scarcely able to sleep [MS. 
torn] joy, & sat off on our walk of 4 miles [MS. torn] 
the ground to see the races at 12, with 6** [MS. torn] to 
lay out in hot cross buns, & swill stale beer [MS. torn] 
cup. Cheap times. The betting on the present occasion 
will be enormous. Our boys were punished if they 
betted. From experience, I w*^ not send my son to Ja-,' 
maica Academy, unless I meant to bring him up a sports- 
man. All last week & this day has been devoted to 
shewing & training the horses. The course is near the 
town & these young rogues minds must necessarily be 
diverted from their studies. We who only had one day 
holliday, could think & talk of nothing else for a week 
before & a week after the races. Lath, was the name 
of the [sentence incomplete] 

Tuesday 27 May. The day of the great race. Liter- 
ally the city of N York that is the gay, the idle, & the 
curious, has poured out its population on L. Island. I 
went to the 2 Ferries at 6, to witness the carriages, w"" 
thronged the avenues to the Ferry Houses. At 10, I 
went again, & Fulton to Pearl Street was blocked up with 
coaches, stages, double & single horse wagons, stages. 
Barouches & Gigs, 4 & 8 abreast all filled with Ladies & 
Dandies, high life & low life, waiting their turns for 2 
Steam Boats & 2 Horse Boats, incessantly plying across 
the Ferry, with row boats of all sorts & sizes, carrying 
over foot pads innumerable. Whether the race will take 
place or the forfeit paid seems to be very doubtful. If 
run, one o'clock is the starting hour, & by 2 probably the 
event will be known in the city. I confess that I feel 
anxious for Eclipse, because his prowess being known, 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1823 137 

it is to be presumed that the Southerns w*^ not attempt 
to match him, unless in full confidence of success. I am 
writing just before 2, & have sent Andrew to the Ferry 
for intelligence. I almost palpitate. What an old Fool ! 

4 o'clock. Just down from dinner. Andrew has re- 
turned. Huzza for N York. Eclipse beat, losing the 
first & winning the 2 last heats. This settles the account 
with the ancient dominion. [MS. torn, several lines 

On Saturday the Linnean Society celebrated the 
birthday of Linnseus at Flushing, about 200. The day 
was fine & the ceremonial & festivity went off in high 
style, with much pleasantry. I was not present, for the 
best reason, not being a member nor invited, a proof of 
my extreme sequestered life, tho' it w*^ have been an 
agreeable relaxation after many weeks of assiduous duty. 
Still on the whole it is best that I sh'^ refrain from these 
pubhc parties altogether. My spirits, like bottled Cham- 
paign are too apt to effervesce & overflow, by the ex- 
citement of company & mirth, which the phlegmatic are 
too apt to impute to an excess of that potation wchichl 
can alone exhilerate them. This impression, not easily 
refuted is unfavourable, and for my soul I cannot re- 
press :my] generous feelings nor wear the mask of hy- 
pocrisy. Had I not been a Sec^ of the Am. Bible 
So[ciety] I think that once for all, & on so great an 
occasion, I sh*^ have attended the spectacle of yesterday. 
I am not one of those severe moralists who reprobate 
public amusements in the gross, Altho', to avoid offence, 
I partake so little of them. The hard working part of 
Society, must have occasional relaxations. Our Prot- 
estant Faith affords no religious holiday & processions 
like the Catholics. From the period of the Jews & 
Heathens down thro the Greeks & Romans, the Celts, 
Druids, even our Indians all had & have their religious 
Festivals. England retains numerous red letter days as 
they are called w** afford intervals of rest, together with 
the Christmas, Easter & Whitsun holidays, for all the 
public offices Banks &c., but with us, we have only Inde- 


pendence, Christmas & New Year, 3 solitary days, not 
enough & which causes so much breach of the Sabbath in 
this city, For youth pent up. Mechanics & labourers 
will seek fresh air & rural exercise on that day, in spite 
of all human laws to the contrary. 

[MS. torn, several lines missing or illegible] to form 
a solid [MS. torn] & foot pads from Brooklyn to Ja- 
maica, 8 miles, a spectacle of itself. 

12 o'clock. On stepping to Eastburns I find that 
our Epis [copal] Convention has risen, without, as I 
hopes, any recommend [atio]n of the A[merican] B[ible] 
S[ociety] which I lament. The reason may be, con- 
sidering the late publications, the absence of Bp. Hobart, 
by sickness not to agitate a question that might disturb 
the prevailing harmony. The General Mission [ar]y 
So[ciety] w*" had been opposed by our diocese & the 
General Sem[inar]y are the subjects recommended to 
the several dioceses. We are for everything exclusive 
here, even against the interests of the Gen. Convention. 
I hope y"" box by the Fanny will arrive safe & be ac- 
ceptable. Mama & Sister united in love to the Doctor 
& the [children.] May God preserve & bless you prays 
y' affec[tionate] fond father 

J. Pintard 
[Addressed by:] Brig Edward 
Cap* Conover 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

New York, 21 Aug*, 1823 

The symptoms of my dear companion were so ag- 
gravated yest^ that I declined writing until something 
decisive might appear. The operation of an emetic did 
not relieve the stricture and oppression in the chest of 
which she so much complains. A profuse perspiration 
this morn^ early has, in D'' Hosacks opinion removed all 
apprehension of danger. The feebleness & languor are 
the result of prostration. With a collected mind and 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1823 139 

firm tone, she disposed yest^ P. M. of her personal ef- 
fects, to be equally divided between her daughters, & 
expressed her wishes respecting a private Funeral. You 
may judge how bowed down I was to listen with com- 
posure to what might prove her dying bequest. Re- 
posing on the merits of a crucified Redeemer, our only 
resource, she ceased, and left me to meditate on the 
severest of all earthly misfortunes, the privation of the 
partner of a long life. Next October we shall have lived 
together 38 years & until this occasion never have I 
been called upon to sit at her sick bed. I cannot be too 
grateful for the manifold mercies that have been ex- 
tended to us. . . . 

We have no further alarm of Yellow Fever since the 
ill judged precipitate report of our ignorant resident 
physician. Should the rem"" of Aug* prove temperate I 
hope our city will continue to enjoy its present unpar- 
ralleled health. Indeed, unless from abroad. Yellow 
Fever is an idle bugbear. 

To Samuel Bayard 

N. York, 25*'' Aug* [18] 23 
My dear Sir 

I have received by this mail, a dft. from y' brother 
A. Bayard Esq. for $500 w'' is passed to your credit, 
. . . The Bills for y"" daughters ^ outfit I can reserve for 
a private oppo[rtunity] or give to your [s] elf. The Bal- 
ance to y"" debit is $69.64. 

Since my last M" Pintard has been exceedingly pros- 
trated, the Fever violent & incessant. This is the 9*^ 
day, and D"" H[osack] hopes that his prescription will 
check the return of chills & subdue the Fever. He con- 
siders her free from danger, for w^ I am all gratitude. 

Our city is very healthy, and we have been favoured 

1 Juliet [Julia] Elizabeth Bayard, eldest daughter of Samuel Bayard, 
was married at Princeton, Oct. 7, 1823, to William Augustine Washing- 
ton, of Virginia. N. Y. Evening Post, Oct. 8, 1823. 


with cool, indeed autumnal weather. I was made happy 
to hear that my dear Sister returned safe, without in- 
jury from her fatiguing excursion. We have no tidings 
from M" Bradford. 

Give my love to all the Clermont family. We wish 
them, esp^ the bride elect, every felicity. 

God bless you all 

Y""^ sincerely 

J. Pintard 

To Doctor Richard Davidson 

N. Y., 4 Oct., 1823 
Doc"" Richard Davidson 

Res* Physician, N. Orleans 

Cap' Packard of Ship Florian has in charge a silver 
Goblet presented by the citizens of N York to Cap* 
Johnson formerly mate of the Brig Patriot w*" so bravely 
repelled a piratical Schooner off Cape Antonio on Sept"' 8, 
1822. At the request of my fellow citizens, I take the 
liberty to forward the Goblet to your care, & to ask the 
favour of you to enquire for Cap* Johnson who sailed 
on the 2^ inst. on board the pilot Schooner Teazer for 
N. Orleans, and to present it to him. 

Be so kind as to inform the Surgeon (name not re- 
called) of your Quarantine ground, who amputated the 
arms of the unfortunate John Cotton, that our friends 
Doc. Hosack, Francis & other physicians & surgeons who 
have examined Cotton consider the operation much to 
his praise & skill, esp^ as it is understood that it was his 
first case. Tho' an incompetent judge the appearance 
was very satisfactory to me. 

Be pleased also to inform M"" Chew your Collector, 
that my fellow citizens hold him in estimation for the 
aid he afforded M"" Cotton. The papers will have in- 
formed you that $550 were contributed by our Marine 
Insurance OfiSces & Citizens as a Fund towards his relief 
which has been deposited in our Savings Bank for his 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1823 141 

benefit. Cotton has gone on to Philadelphia & Baltimore 
with ample letters of recommendation, where and at 
Boston it is hoped he meet with considerable contribu- 
tions to be placed also in the Savings Bank for his ac- 

I cannot close this letter without individually ac- 
knowledging the active services of M' William Wood 
(the author & founder of Apprentices & Naval Libraries, 
and eminently distinguished for every good work) for 
his indefatigable zeal in soliciting benefactions in favour 
of M"" Cotton. It is contemplated to associate him with 
some friend to carry on some kind of business that may 
give him occupation and preserve him from falling a 
victim to idleness. 

The very little interest that has fallen to my share 
to exert in favour of this brave man has been abundantly 
rewarded by his modesty and gratitude. 

I am My dear Sir 

Yours very affec^ 

J. Pintard 
D"" Richard Davidson 

Inscription on the Silver Cup 

by the Citizens of New York 
to Capt. Johnson, for his brave 
defence of the Brig Patriot, 
against a Pirate in Sept 1822 

To Louise H. Pintard {later Mrs. Servoss) 
then in New Orleans 

N York, Sat^ 29 Nov., 1823. 21/2 P- m. 
Before closing my office duties I must snatch a mo- 
ment to tell my beloved daughter Louise how happy M' 
Eastburn made [me] at 6 last ev^ as I stopped in for 
a moment after returning from a meeting of the Standing 
Com^ of the A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety], that he had 
seen on the Bulletin the arrival of the Steam Ship on 


the 7*^ inst. at Havana. . . . Your next will be very in- 
teresting of all youve heard & all youve seen on this 
first voyage of life. What the impressions of y' sisters 
flock of cygnets, her dwelling establishment and the 
novelty of a French colonial city, for their manners & 
buildings predominate. . . . 

Monday 1 Dec'. ... I went alone to the Com- 
munion in Grace Church yest^. The day being raw & 
unfavourable Mama could not go, and occupied her time 
in writing to you. I prayed most fervently my beloved 
child for your health & spiritual happiness & that of 
your dear sister & family. A collection was made gen- 
erally for the benefit of the Grace Church Free School 
recently established by D'" Wainwright, $216 were col- 
lected & $100 the preceding week for this charitable in- 
stitution. It is proposed to make general collections 
every Communion Sunday and as the Sacrament is ad- 
ministered. It is probable $100 a Sunday will be col- 
lected on 10 occasions, making $1000 a year, w*" will go 
a great way towards maintaining the school. This meas- 
ure very popular with our congregation, may not please 
Trinity, w" has hitherto absorbed all the Episcopal char- 
ity school collections in this city. The Rector of Grace 
is right. I went in the ev^ as I had done the preceding 
Sunday ev^ to the Moravian Church, & heard Bp. Faber's 
Missionary hymn elegantly sung. My friend Francis is 
on the recovery, & yest^ for the first time told his at- 
tendants that he felt hopes of recovering. 

[Addressed:] Miss Louise H. Pintard 

New Orleans 
Brig Jones 
Cap* Richardson 


To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

N York, 29 Jan^, 1824 

I am very happy to hear of the convalescence of our 
invaluable Cousin Bradford, and that you all pass your 
time so agreeably at Clermont. The Greek cause, in 
w*" I have partaken, was rather intended as an expression 
of our sympathy in favour of a generous people strug- 
gling for life & liberty, than with the view of adminis- 
tering any very effectual aid, and to warn the unHoly 
Leaguers what they are to expect from a Free nation, 
that takes a concern in the fate of so distant a country 
as Greece, should they attempt to put their unhallowed 
feet on the soil of Freedom. Let old Spain fight her 
own battles with her colonies & reconquer them if she 
can. But no foreign interposition, without our inter- 
ference also. Sh*^ a fatal success, w*" is impossible, crown 
the efforts of the Legitimates, then stand by the U*^ 
States, whose example galls them at every turn. . . . 

We are all on the qui vive, with respect to the Tariff. 
Sh*^ it pass we may inscribe Ichabod on our Banks 
&c. . . . 

Drawing y'^ Interest I c^ not but regard with pleasure 
the wonderful increase of the Funds of Alma Mater w^ 
does credit to the Trustees. Columbia College in this 
city is just the reverse, & owing to extravagant salaries 
& want of economy we run in debt every year. I believe 
she is minus $15000 while you are plus double that sum. 
Bp. Hobart has so episcopalized it, as to have alienated 
the affections of a large portion of our respectable citi- 
zens of other denominations. So much the better for 
Nassau, Yale & Union & the worse for poor Columbia. 
Every effort is making in this City & State to build up 
the Geneva College while not a finger is moved in favour 



either of the College or Epis[copal] Th[eological] 
Sem[inar]y. The income of the latter cannot pay the 
professors very humble salaries. We have only 21 schol- 
ars, an excess of one since its removal from N. Haven, 
and thus Bp. H's paramount Institution. Vide his cir- 
cular of 17 Nov. in London in the Xt° Journal. 

Friday [January] 30*^ 7i/^ o'clock. The preceding 
wretched scrawl was traced just before going upstairs 
to dine, for I assure you that unless I write at my desk, 
I have no oppo[rtunity] of corresponding. This day I 
have 3 appointments, at 1, 5 & 7. At 5, with the 
Stand [in] g Com[mittee] preparatory to the stated meet- 
ing of the Managers next week. The A[merican] B[ible] 
S[ociety] is doing well, but not as well nor progressive 
as it ought. But Providence overrules all & let us sub- 

M" Pintard desires her kind love. She is pretty well 
& much of a recluse. Remember me most aff[ec- 
tionatel]y to the two families of Clermont & believe me 

Sincerely yours 

J. Pintard 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

N York, 5 Feb., 1824 
My dear Sir 

Your favour of 3P* Ult** was rec*^ on 3^ inst. I availed 
myself of a moment yest^ to collect the Dividends & In- 
terest for your College as credited, leaving $361.73 
bal[ance] in your favour & at y"" disposal. The Newark 
[dividend] $78.75 is thankfully acknowledged. The 
N. Y. B*" Dividend $45. is right, there being no deduc- 
tions for State Tax on Literary & Benevolent Insti- 
tutions. Samuels debut is a favorable one. Love & 
Murder are fine topics for poetical imagery & oratorical 
display, the latter will draw a full court & bring him 
forward to notice. I have no doubt but that he will do 
his cause justice & move the bowels of the Jury. It is 
a great distinction to be hung in this quarter, and ex- 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1824 145 

cepting Negros mistaken philanthropy is I presume the 
order in Geo[rgia] so that our young friend is likely 
to come off with flying colours. You must resign him 
to providence & hope for the best. I expect to see him 
come up a dashing member of Congress. Sam w*^ have 
taken the Greek side had he been in the late debate. It 
is best under all circumstances that it sh'^ die of a euthe- 
nasia. Tho' I have been too much of a partizan to ac- 
quiesce in the sophistry of Randolph ^ whose element is 
opposition, & his co-oppugners. Be it so. The subject 
at any rate has called forth most splendid eloquence & 
will read well in Eng** where the people, like ourselves, 
are alive to the G[reek] cause and for a Xt° nation it 
appears worse than a reproach that Great Britain has 
never extended efficient aid. But Religion & Freedom 
all yield to national policy. How Grecian Inde- 
p[endanc]e may affect the trade of England is the ques- 
tion, not sympathy for suffering humanity. But all in 
Gods appointed time. The Hydra of civil & religious 
persecutions must be crushed by the next more enlight- 
ened generation. I am pleased to find that Alma Mater 
& y"" city is doing something. The aggregate will be suf- 
ficient to testify good will. Colemans ^ wise opposition is 
owing to the American having heartily engaged in the 
cause threw the Ev[ening] Post in the background, & 
oppugnation was the consequence. 

Friday 6 Feb''. I left a blank page to tell something 
of the Managers ^ meeting yest^ p. m. A bitter cold day. 
But first let me say that the address at Glasgow at- 
tributed to Bp. Chase was delivered by Professor Ira 
Chase of Columbia College Washington. The mistake 
was unintentional. 

Friday 6 Feb^ bitter cold 

The meeting was very full, notwithstanding the se- 
verity of the weather our large room was very comforta- 

1 John Randolph of Roanoke. 

2 William Coleman, editor of the New York Evening Post. 

3 Of the American Bible Society. 


ble. The President of the Nassau Hall B[ible] S [ociety] 
& a student were present. 

21 Communications, miscellaneous, were read. 

The Alabama B. S. was recognised Aux[iliar]y. 

A donation of 50 Bibles was granted to the Saco M® 
Marine B. S. 

12 German B« & 24 Test^ to the Young Mens West- 

A Letter from D"" Sam^ Hitchcock, entreating the 
A. B. S. to relinquish a Legacy of ab* $800, left by his 
brother was ref^ to the Sec^ of dom[estic] cor[respond- 
ence]. Treasurer & Agent. This is a nice question, 
whether as Trustees the So[ciety] can give up a legacy. 
The appeal is very warm & pathetic, D' H and his wife 
being in great distress & want. 

The Treasure [r] for Jan'' rec* $2134.30, paid $2386.96. 

In 1822 from May to Jan'' inclusive the rec*^ were $25,549. 

1823, same period $26,290. 
Altho' progressive, not so much as we ought to be. 

1595 B[ible]s 1771 Test[ament]s were issued in Jan^ value $1793.84 

103 " 121 " for distribution value 161.45 

net sales $1632.39 

The Agent presented his Annual Inventory to 31 Dec. 
The total value of our property, exclusive of the So- 
cle tys House is $85,098.61. This includes stereotype 
Plates, Paper, Bibles & Test[ament]s, in sheets and 
Bound. Last year, value was $82,035.98. 

Contracts for printing & Binding for 1 Year from P* 
May next are made with Mess" Paul & Starr, somewhat 
exceeding the last. A copy of the 8vo. Bible is to be 
presented to every compositor remaining in the service 
of the So[ciety] 12 m°^ successively. 

The stereotyping of the Spanish Bible is in progress. 

A stere[o]type Ed. of a pocket Bible is ordered, when 
in funds. 

A better translation of the Gospels in the Mohawk 
language has been a subject of debate, & is ref^ to the 
Committee for general purposes. 

This about the sum of yest''^ doings. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1824 147 

I hope when you hear from Julia, that she appears 
content. It is hard weaning a tender lamb. Her Mama 
I presume will visit her next spring. My wanderer is 
happy with her Sister. The season is always gay at 
N. 0. . . . 

By M"" Boyd, passing thro to Washington I sent a 
Report of the Br[itish] & For[eign] B[ible] S[oeiety] 
for dear Cousin Bradford. My respects to Ma'amselle 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

New York, 14*'' April, 1824 

Such are my incessant diurnal duties & confinement 
during ofiice hours, from 9 to 4, that I have little time to 
devote to other calls. Even this (Passion) week I shall 
only be able to attend prayers & not the Discourse on 
Good Friday next. But one consolation I enjoy, I can 
read all the Services & Sermons, thank God, at home. 

As to a visit from us, it will depend entirely how my 
hard working wife, debilitated with her late attack of 
Fever may surmount the toil of moving.^ The very- 
packing up is a job of more labour than you w"^ im- 
agine. The distance is too great to carry any thing by 
hand, & a little breakage of handsome costly articles 
w*^ add to the tax of moving w^ will be great eno[ugh] 
without. When over we shall have reason to rejoice. 
Wall Street is no longer a residence for females. 

Tuesday 27*^ April 

.... In the course of this summer I must settle all 
my worldly affairs. The marriage of Louise ^ leaves it 

* To 504 Broadway. Longworth's New- York Directory, 1824-25. 

5 To Thomas Lowrey Servoss, son of Jacob and Isabella (Flem- 
ing) Servoss, of Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania. See Henry Race, Historico-Genealogical Sketch of Col. 
Thomas Lowrey and Esther Fleming His Wije (Flemington, N. J., 
1S92) ; N. J. Marriage Records, 1766. in A^. J. Archives, 1st ser., XXII, 
p. 148; Scoville, Old Merchants of New York (N. Y., 1870), II, pt. 2, 
pp. 179-186. 


my bounden duty to render her Mother comfortable as 
far as in my power that in case I am called away before 
her she may not be dependent on her children. The dis- 
posal of the little I may have to leave will be very sim- 
ple, to be equally divided after their Mothers decease 
between my two dear daughters. Louise does not return 
this year, as it w*^ materially interfere with the interest 
of M"" Servos, pronounced Service. Bringing nothing to 
him she acts prudently not to injure his circumstances. 
I am in daily expectation to hear of their marriage an 
event for w^ I cannot express my gratitude to God to 
have allowed me to live to see her happily, I have no 
doubt, settled. When informed I shall write. We are 
advancing in our preparatory steps for moving w^ may 
begin on Sat^ & terminate Tuesday or Wed^. My office 
for the present is to be in a back room of J. G. Warrens 
just above. Overwhelmed, I know not whether I shall 
be able to write on Friday morn^ to dear Cous. Brad- 
ford, the proceedings of the Managers. In anticipation, 
a very important report by brother Boyd, will 
be presented & as in Com[mitte]e will I trust be unani- 
mo[usly] adopted, to appoint the Sec'' for dom[estic] 
cor[respondence] a permanent officer with a salary, & to 
authorize the comm^ to confer with D' Woodhull on the 
terms if he will accept. He is the very Atlas of the 
A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety]. He will report the ac- 
cession of the 400*'' Aux^. I regret that you cannot come 
on at the approaching anniv^ or that there sh*^ be reasons 
for your declining. He that does much good to Society, 
must look for some rebuffs, but the envy or malice of 
men are to be overlooked. They are wisely ordered to 
check inordinate vanity & to wean us gradually from this 
world. Do all for the love of God, and we may hope 
for our reward thro' the merits of our Redeemer. I feel 
as tho' I c^ willingly resign my breath, as soon as I hear 
that my Louise is settled. . . . 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1824 149 

To Fitch Hall, of Boston 

New York, 29*^^ April, 1824 
My dear brother Fitch Hall, 

Since my reply in 1822 to your very kind enquiry re- 
specting the fate of my family during the Yellow Fever 
of that year, no epistolary intercourse to my shame be 
it uttered, has existed between us. But occasional vis- 
itors from Boston to this city have acquainted me of y"" 
welfare. Have heard nothing of your removal, I pre- 
sume thro' the influence of y" friends that you still re- 
main a monument of Democratic sharing mercy. God 
forgive the Radicals for their misrule & worse deeds. 
My avocations are incessant & my drudgery severe owing 
to the multiplication of Fire ofi&ces & competition for 
business. I am obliged to perform the duties of Secre- 
tary & Bookkeeper, w^ with other adjunct services my 
whole time is actively employed from Jan'' to Decem"" 
without intermission, but thank God my health & spirits 
are good. This will account for my apparent neglect of 
you. We do not however think the less of auld lang 
syne, & of your dear daughters. One I presume is mar- 
ried & I hope well and that the other will be provided 
with a protector also before you are called away. 

This is our unspeakable happy lot. Our dear daugh- 
ter Louise, went on a visit last November to her Sister 
Davidson at N. Orleans, where she captivated the heart 
of a M"" Servoss, an American merch* of that city, to 
whom with her parents approbation, she was united the 
4*^ inst. A circumstance my dear brother, for you are 
very dear to me, that bows me down with gratitude to 
our heavenly Father. M"* Servoss is of Phila[delphia], 
went to the Miss[iss]ippi territory about 12 years ago & 
has carried on successful business in N. Orleans 10 years. 
He is a widower of 35, has only a little son ^ aged 8 at 

6 Thomas Courtney Servoss. His mother, Eliza (Courtney) Servoss, 
first wife of Thomas L. Servoss, died in New York City March 3, 1817. 
(N. Y. Commercial Advertiser, Mar. 4, 1817.) 


Elizabethtown for education. Please [d] with my dear 
at first sight, for she is at least comely, after she had been 
at her sisters only a fortnight, acquainted tho' not in- 
timate, he repeated his visits until he proffered his hand. 
Louise a child of nature, inartificial and above disguise, 
frankly told him that she had nothing to expect from 
her father. He asked nothing, but herself, sent on for 
consent and please God my daughter is happy. Her 
establishment is splendid, far beyond her hopes, but not 
her merits, for she is good, virtuous & endowed with 
every domestic qualification that distinguish her mothers 
family. Well educated, but not superficially varnished, 
of solid strength of mind, w^ she evinced when she em- 
barked without a protector, single handed, in the Steam 
Ship Fulton, last autumn for N[ew] 0[rleans]. Her 
mother desolate & childless is almost heart broken. But 
this is natural, & time will reconcile her to the dreadful 

We are now packing up to remove to the upper end 
of B^way from this street the Focus of business & quite 
uneasy for a family, but I have not time to descant. As 
the above intelligence will be pleasing I tho't it my duty 
to write instantly tho pressed for time. 

Old Aunt Hanson at 87, still exists tho' confined for 
years to her chamber. Sister Helen, M*" Craig & son 
are very well. We shall be nearer to them. My N. Or- 
leans colony, 2 daughters, 2 sons, 4 goddaughters & 3 
godsons, all Cygnets, are very well. . . . 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

New York, T**" July, 1824 
My dear Sir, 

Your power of attorney was duly received, and this 
day I have collected the Dividend on 50 shares of the 
United Insurance C° for Spanish spoliations 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1824 151 

15 per C* 



Interest for Princeton College 

U States Loan . . . 



N York Canal Stock 

On 8000 six p^ Cent 


3000 Fives 


2000 " 


1000 " 


6862.11 Fives 




Which is to your credit $1048.03 

My president & friend M"" Furman, having met with 
an accident is obliged to keep house, w** confines me 
strictly to my office or I sh^ have collected the above yes- 

Having being much afflicted with a tendency of blood 
to my head, after depletion w'' afforded little relief, for 
the first time in my life I was bled last ev^ & feel better. 
The ligature on my right arm renders writing incon- 
venient. My poor wife like cousin Bradford relapses into 
chills & fever on the least exertion. Bound down as I 
am, it is difficult to remove her to the country. Fresh 
air & sea bathing will I hope restore her, until a week 
past she has never passed the threshhold of the door 
since our removal. 

Whether we shall be able to visit you is very doubt- 
ful. I shall be glad to hear of the movement of our 
dear friend Cousin Bradford and of your absentees. 
Louise & her niece will return in October, but my part- 
ner will not leave me. . . . 


To Mrs. Davidson 

♦ N York, Friday, 

23^^ Jan^ [sic for July] 1824 

My last ^ was by yest^" mail, 22''. This will inclose 
our dear Eliza's ^ letter to go by the Edward tomorrow. 
On Sunday weather permitting, she will accompany her 
Aunt Craig & pass the day at Bath,^ to return in the 
evening. She is a remarkable instance of fondness for 
home. I attended the funeral of M" Lyell,^*^ last 
ev[enin]g, and asked her whether she w'^ not like to go 
with M''^ Young & see it, taking a seat in the gallery. 
She shook her head & said that she w'^ prefer staying at 
home, w^ she did. The ceremony being novel to her I 
thought it might excite her curiosity. She is very con- 
tented & does not want to leave g'^pa. She is a dear 
affectionate girl & all that you c*^ wish her. As to early 
rising, she is up at 6, and with me half after. We break- 
fast punctually at 7, and she arranges every thing with 
as much precision as Aunt Louise. I always remark to 
her the extreme care & nicety of her g'^mama for her ex- 
ample. She is not the least slattern even in her 
dishabille, but always trim & neat. As to her conversa- 
tion, it not only delights but excites my admiration both 
as regards language, sentiment & observation. If half 
she says of her brothers be true, and I cannot from her 
own example doubt her, I look back to my period of 
comparative ignorance at their years, & scarcely can be- 
lieve that they are so far advanced beyond what even 
the first rate boys of my juvenile days were. I did not 
read Rollin nor Roman History until I went to College 
in my 14*^ year, and I was not a behind hand youth by 
any means. Attention to education was neither so great 

'^ Pintard's letter of July 22, 1824, is missing from the Society's col- 
lection, as are most of his letters to Mrs. Davidson in that year. 

8 Eliza Davidson, Pintard's granddaughter. 

9 In Kings County, Long Island, on Gravesend Bay (now part of 

10 Mrs. Julia Anna Lyell, wife of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Lyell, Rector 
of Christ Church, and daughter of the late Jonathan Rhea, of Trenton, 
died July 21, 1824. [N. Y.] Commercial Advertiser, July 22, 1824. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1824 153 

nor the facilities to be compared with the cp]resent day. 
Enjoying such advantages, it gratifies mce thlat they 
[im]prove them. [MS. torn] 

In return for our dear Elizas staying with me I shall 
make her presents at least adequate to what her expenses 
w*^ be at Bath. I have just bought her a beautiful copy 
of Sturms reflections for every day in the year w*" are 
very entertaining & instructive & will improve her 
brothers & sisters. 

Sat^ [July] 24*\ We had a most violent thunder 
bucr]st with a torrent of tropical rain yest^ from 1 to 3. 
Some injury by lightening as the papers show. I got 
home dry, but had to go thro' a smart rain to discharge 
my duty at the Depository. My cherub always flies to 
greet me at the door. Julia & her brother went yesf 
to Bath & were detained by the rain last night. This 
day is overcast, but will clear off I hope for the Craig 
party tomorrow. I cannot with propriety desert my 
post at the Savings B"" this ev^ where our duty will be 
severe as the paym* of interest will be called for by mul- 
titudes. "He that putteth his hand to the plough must 
[not] look back," and if I have a solitary virtue, it is the 
scrupulous conscientious discharge of whatever I under- 
take to perform, w'' at my advanced period makes me 
shrink from even allowing myself to be enlisted as a 
nominal member of any new societys that are daily 
springing up. The Hayti Emigration S" will be I think 
the last in w*" I shall engage reserving my remain- 
ing energies for the A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety] & 
Saving's Bank, indeed the latter is, as all say of me suff* 
for one man, . . . M'^ Young is very well, very retired 
in a fine cool chamber & occupied with her needle. 
Tamar is all in cra]ptures with Eliza. She is not apt to 
be pleased with [you]ng persons. The Edward will prob- 
ably sail tomorrow. [MS. torn] 

[Addressed by:] Brig Edward 


To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

N. York, 4*'^ Aug^ 1824 
My dear Sir, 

The rec* of your dft. for the Newark Dividend $78.75 
is acknowledged. 

Your kind favour of yest^ has relieved me from ex- 
treme solicitude on ace* of your dear daughter Julia. 
Thro' M"" Boyd I had been informed of her critical state 
and of my dear Sisters being at Washington. Altho' 
the infant is taken, the Mothers life please God is spared 
and I hope she will shortly be restored to your arms in 
health. . . . My poor wife, at Bath, was fairly prostrated 
by the unexpected death of M'^ Lyell, and the painful 
intelligence I had to communicate respecting M" Wash- 
ington. She almost augured the worst, on ace* of the 
southern fevers, so malignant and in Julias situation too 
often, so dreadfully fatal. Thank God, your letter w^ 
I shall forward this p. m. will most gratefully relieve her 
& Louise. The latter has some hope of her partners com- 
ing on very soon, in the William, w'' must however de- 
pend on his business, w*" is extensive & lucrative. My 
dear g[ran]ddaughter is my housekeeper who relieves 
my solitude. 

M"" Boyd is at Albany watching the political waters. 
Our Legislature, determined in its opposition to the peo- 
ples rights will adjourn probably this day, and the Craw- 
ford vote of this State will be secured. Since the prostra- 
tion of my friend Clinton, my political ardour has abated. 
I wish my country well, but I must serve my fellow 
citizens in the silent walks of charity & benevolence. 
I have lost my protege James Henry Clinton, by yellow 
fever, in consequence of stepping ashore for half a day 
at Havanna. He was a gallant lad & brave as a lion, 
with a mind & intellect of a very superior order. His 
premature death afflicts me most sensibly. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1824 155 

To Mrs. Davidson 

[August 5, 1824] 

[MS. torn] yours [of the] 17*" by the W[illiam] 
{MS. torn] y"* Sisters grievous disappointment that [her 
husband was] not a passenger. When to look for him, or 
at all, [MS. torn] conjecture. The Chancellor is ex- 
pected hourly. The Virginia w^ takes this is to sail on 
Sunday. I shall put it with Eliza's inclosed, in the Bag 
on Sat^ morn^ as I go to the Ferry for Bath, weather & 
life favouring. ... If Mama w*^ follow my counsel she 
w'^ return with y'' Sister, see how she w*^ like N[ew] 
0[rleans] & if pleased we w*^ collect our little all & go 
there & live with our daughters. But this is improbable, 
unless M'' S[ervoss] might propound something to in- 
duce the enterprize. For myself I c*^ shift very well by 
boarding. I w*^ make many sacrifices to live near you, 
but Mamas prejudices must be consulted. As to leaving 
Eliza with me it is out of the question. She has im- 
proved too well under your inspection, to jeopardize her 
at her approaching critical period, from under your ma- 
ternal vigilance. She is indeed an uncommon fine child, 
of sterling properties, eminently endowed by nature & 
substantially improved by an education far excelling in 
intrinsic worth all the modern tinsel & frippery usually 
taught in Boarding schools. Eliza in my estimation is 
suflSciently educated for solid improvement at home by 
reading & attending to household duties. Something 
might be bestowed on the pianaforte, to qualify her to 
perform & sing an air, but no scientific performance w'' 
consumes an incredible portion of life, both to acquire 
& retain. . . . [MS torn] 

The Doctors project ^^ reads well on paper. No doubt 
it has been maturely weighed. As M"" Servoss speaks 
favourably of it, being a cool calculator, it appears the 
more feasible. I devoutly pray that it may redound to 
the Doctors profit and as he will have a year's start of 

11 Evidently for a private hospital. 


any competitor it promises to become too well known, 
and I trust judiciously conducted to dread rivalship. 
Would it not be wise to get it visited by your B[oar]d 
of Health & Mayoralty. Their approbation, esp[eciall]y 
if permitted to be published, w*^ establish its character & 
attract patients. When the river falls will be the Doc- 
tor's harvest, his nets are ready & I hope he will catch 
all the Fish. The reputation of the institution will be 
spread by every patient that has been well treated & 
discharged cured. Success to his enterprize. 

Friday [August] 6*^. 8 o'clock. Dear Eliza rose 
bright & early to assist M" Young in stoning the grapes. 
Her Aunt sent word yest^ that there was no necessity 
for her coming to town as M" Y & her neice c*^ make the 
sweetmeats as well as herself. There is a fine parcel 
and in elegant order. ... I never knew such a home- 
body in my life. We are to take 'tea at Aunt Helens 
this afternoon. Master Davis whose vacation has com- 
menced has gone to pass a fortnight at Flatlands, near 
N[ew] Utrecht. There is no danger of intercourse, on 
either side. No. Eliza must settle near her dear mother. 

[Addressed by Ship] Virginia 

My dear Sir, 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

New York, 12*'' Aug*, 1824 

My wife & daughter are still at Bath, where I saw 
them last Sunday. M" P. remains very weak, & the 
least exertion induces fever. 

By M""^ Ogden widow of the late Judge Ogden ^^ of 
Quebeck recently returned from England, Cousin Caty 
Van Dam ^^ has desired that a monument sh*^ be erected 

12 Isaac Ogden, who died in England Feb. 1, 1824. The Gentleman's 
Magazine (London), March, 1824, vol. XCIV, pt. 1, p. 283. His widow 
was his second wife, Sarah Hanson. W. 0. Wheeler, The Ogden Family 
. . . EUzabethtown Branch (1907), pp. 101-102. 

13 Daughter of Isaac and Isabella (Pintard) Van Dam. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1824 157 

in S^ Pauls to the memory of her brother Anthony/* 
cost £50 St[erlin]g w^ will afford a very neat Tablet. I 
have undertaken to superintend the execution by a M"* 
Frazee, an ingenious artist. The inscription I trust is 
appropriate & chaste. It affords me pleasure to render 
this last act to the memory of a worthy relative. 

Our B[ible] S[ociety] proceeds favourably. The new 
modelling the dom[estic] Sec[retar]ys department is 
postponed, probably till October. 5 new Auxiliaries. 
Our Savings Bank has closed its 5*^ year, gross am* of 
Receipts & Interest $2,014,388.90, withdrawn $800,- 
849.51, Bal[ance] in hand $1,213,539.39. Accounts 9,671. 
Far exceeding the most sanguine anticipations. . . . 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

N York, S'"" Oct^ 1824 
My dear Sir, 

Your favour of 6*^ was rec** yest''. On the subject of 
my dear Sisters proposed visit with Julia & M' Wash- 
ington, I am extremely sorry to reply that it is entirely 
out of our power to accommodate our friends during 
their short stay in this city. We have but one spare 
room, w'' is occupied by our daughter & her niece. Our 
long & faithful domestic Tamar has left us and gone to 
housekeeping in the country. As a substitute we have 
a young servant with an infant, entirely unacquainted 
with our ways. M" Pintard continues very feeble and 
incapable of the least exertion, depressed moreover with 
the preparations of Louise who is to sail for N. Orleans, 
next Sunday week, and our house is literally upside 
down. Under these circumstances it is with sincere re- 
gret that we cannot receive our friends on this occasion. 
For myself esp^ I feel very unhappy to return this an- 

1* The tablet, on the south wall of the chancel, in St. Paul's Chapel, 
Broadway, New York City, reads: "Sacred to the Memory of Anthony 
Van Dam Esq. grandson of the Honourable Rip Van Dam . . . From 
the year 1788, he resided in London where he died on the 23d Sept. 1808 
in the 77th year of his age. This monument was erected by his affec- 
tionate surviving sister, Catherine Van Dam of London, A. D. 1824." 


swer. The urgency of my duties, makes me little else 
than a boarder at home. I rise at 6, breakfast alone 
at 7, return, if to dinner at i/o p. 3, or more frequently 
not until 6, take my tea & crawl to roost Yo p. 9, but I 
enjoy thank God excellent health. The numerous appli- 
cations for Fire Insur[anc]e Companies break down our 
business very much & if continued, as is most likely, will 
reduce the value of our Capital, w'' is for y"" considera- 
tion. We shall however divide 4 p"" c* in Nov"" pay [able] 
1^* Dec'" but I cannot answer for next May. 

At the meeting of the Managers ^^ yest^ numerous 
communications were made. 

2 New Auxiliaries were recognised, Washington 

County, Virginia, White County, Illinois 
285 Bibles & 312 Test[ament]s were granted as do- 
The Treasurer rec'^ in Sepf $4109.16 

and paid 4345.49 

The Agent issued from the Depository in the same 

1782 Bibles, 2147 Test« value $1940.77 

For gratuitous distribution, 

260 Bib^ 415 Test^ value 291.12 


The Report of the Comm® on improving the mode 
of conducting the business was called up & discussed, 
until 7 o'clock, when the B*' adjourned to the 21^* for the 
further consideration of this important subject. 

The object of the Committee was to allow the Rev. 
D'" Woodhull adequate compensation to give his whole 
time to the duties of correspond^ Sec''. This meets with 
so much oppugnation that D" W. will undoubtedly re- 
sign, when some other person must be appointed, a meas- 
ure which I shall regret, for I do regard him as a most 
efiScient officer. However all I trust will be for the best, 
as almost every change has hitherto proved, and as I con- 
is Of the American Bible Society. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1824 159 

fidently trust will be the case whenever I resign my 
humble station. I am now in my 9*" year, & unless I 
decay faster than I expect, & sh"^ it not be incompatible 
with the interests of the S" I c*^ wish to complete my 
Decade next May twelvemonth. . . . 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

Wall S\ 19 Oct., 1824 
My dear [Sir] 

It may gratify you to learn that y'' good wife my dear 
Sister alighted very unexpectedly at our door last ev° 
at 7, traveling all the way from Brunswick for 1/, Hack 
here 2/ the most expensive part of her journey. Luckily 
a gent" & his wife took the same carriage for the upper 
end of B'Hvay, w^ guided her to N° 504, 6 or 8 doors right 
hand side going up, above Broome, N'' on plate on the 
door. Blockhead like I had omitted mentioning my N" 
in my last. Your Rev*^ son took Tea with us. By the 
unexpected arrival of M*" Servoss on the 10*'', Louise de- 
parture is deferred to the beginning of Nov. for w*" I 
rejoice as the Yellow Fever is very fatal & desolating at 
N. Orleans, w^ nothing but black frost can kill. She will 
therefore return at a healthy period. My dear daughter 
Davidson & family were all well on 17*^ Sept. M"" & 
M""^ S. have gone to Fishkill, where he has friends to 
wear away his Quarantine till Thurs^ 2P* when I shall 
look for them with the dawn. I have paid Patty $100. 
She makes her purchases this day & goes to N Rochelle 
tomorrow. . . . 

D"" Millers Essay ^^ has afforded me much pleasure, & 
is quite consonant with my own sentiments on the neces- 
sity of Creed Articles & Confessions. In consequence of 
several conversations with the late D"" Osgood, ^^ the 
patriarch of the Congregationalists of Mas[sachusetts] 

16 Samuel Miller, An Introductonj Lecture . . . at the opening of the 
Summer Session of the Theological Seminary . . . Princeton, July 2, 

17 David Osgood. 


when at Medford in 1800, I took some pains to investi- 
gate a subject w'' D"" M. has condensed in a nutshell. 
The religious world is indebted to the labours of this 
learned professor. A very interesting work on the use 
of Evidence by Professor Verplanck ^^ has just appeared, 
chastly, forcibly & logically written as far as I am a 
judge. He has sent a copy to D"" Miller, w*" possibly you 
can look into. The works of learned laymen in favour 
of the Truth of Divine Revelation are an honour to any 
Church. . . . 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

New York, 23^ Dec"", 1824 
My dear Sir, 

William tells me that he expects to go home on a 
visit tomorrow. The Bal[ance] of $2000 of the Stock 
Six per Cent, will be paid on the 1^*^ Jan^ next. Inclosed 
is the form of a power of att[orne]y to be executed as 
that before sent, to enable me to receive the bal[anc]e 
with interest, on the S'^. Must I pay the principal $2000, 
with the quarters int[erest] to M'^ Lenox, or only the 
principal & credit you with the Interest. I must leave 
sending your ac [count] until Jan^ for really these short 
days & all to do myself, I have scarcely a moment from 
9 to 3, & my afternoons are nothing & almost daily en- 
gaged. I scarcely dine home above twice a week. M"" 
Stockton will have seen a notice of the Savings Bank, 
that only 4 p"" C* can be allowed after the 1^* Jan^. Should 
he wish to draw the deposit for his Lady the Book must 
be sent on with an order & the am* with the Int[erest] 
at 5 p' C* accruing to P* Jan^ will be paid on the IQ*** 
following. The Deposit can remain at 4 p"" C* if he 
pleases. The high price of Stocks in w*" we are by law 
restricted to invest has caused this regulation. We can- 
not fund to obtain more than 4 p"" C*. . . . 

18 Gulian C. Verplanck, Essays on the Nature and Uses of the Var- 
ious Evidences of Revealed Religion. 


To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

New York, 20*^ Jan^ 1825 
My dear Sir 

I did not see M"" Lenox until this morning who in- 
form [s] me that he has invested the monies rec*^ for 
Princeton College in Mechanic Bank Stock. Of course 
I shall not [sic] want a new power to receive the Divi- 
dend payable V^ Feb^ at 7 p"" C p' An[num] deducting 
10 per cent for the State tax. 

Your favour of 15*^ inst. was duly rec*^, on which 
day I rec*^ also Ch« Lawton & C note dated 13*^ Jan^ at 
8 months for $2000 with int[erest] at 6 p"- C* p' an. to- 
gether with a certificate for 40 shares in the Jersey Bank 
City of Jersey as collateral security, as Trustee for the 
Executors of Elias Boudinot, for w" I gave an acknowl- 
edgment to return for a discharge of the note. I shall 
attend to the execution of this trust according to your 

If you can live along without it, I sh*^ think you will 
do well not to sell your long deferred stock in Greenwich 
lots. The tide of population and the rage of speculation 
is setting that way, and you will be reimbursed hand- 
somely for your purchase. Greenwich Village & the city 
will be compact in a very few years. The Street will be 
probably filled up this year that unites the two. Prop- 
erty, Lots & Houses have considerably advanced & rents 
must also. Governor Clintons message works wonders 
& will attract migration. Every new house has its tenant 
& the demand increases. So good luck to you. 

Willy is well and as one of the Athenians he wants 
not for amusement & I trust improvement. He is a fine 
Lad. I wish Samuel may find a chance for permanancy 
at Trenton. 



To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

New York, 21 Jan^ 1825 
My dear Sir 

Your favour of yest^ with its inclosure, is duly rec'^. 
I have directed a policy for insurance on ace* of 
Cap' Stockton, Viz* 

$5000 on his house @ 371/2 1 y' $18.75 

Carpenters risk 3 mo[nths] . . 3.121/2 

500 on Barn, 1 y^ @ 75 3.75 

$5500 insured for 1 y^ $25,621/2 

Policy 8109 

This I presume will meet his wishes. In case of ac- 
cident from carpenters before completion of the prem- 
ises, the policy w*^ be invalid unless as above the risk 
were provided for. 

Barns are proportionably higher than Dwellings. The 
premium is as low as if the improvements were in this 

I will make the enquiry you request when in my 
power. Mentioning M^ Slades name recalls y^ former 
request about the Carbonaris. Nothing can be excited 
in their favour here. Even an attempt to purchase & fit 
out the Steam Ship for the Greeks was abandoned. The 
Washington Statue is for the present laid on the shelf. 
The Athenseum ^ is the order of the day. Somewhere 
about $45,000 have been subscribed & it is progressive. 
Our Church & other Charities are likewise reasonably 
attended to. 

D^ Milnor is convalescent. 

Banks & Insurance C°^ applications are numerous but 
will be more restricted to their distinctive operations 

1 The Athenaeum Library, inaugurated 1824 and incorporated in 1826, 
which was merged in 1838 with the New York Society Library. See A. 
B. Keep's History of the New York Society Library (1908), pp. 313-62. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 163 

than heretofore. Great abuses have prevailed & nothing 
but a general explosion, w'' must one day come, can cure 
the prevailing mania. 

Lot & House speculations are beyond example for 
many years. Your Greenwich propertj^ is rapidly im- 
proving. I write always in haste, w" will excuse vague- 
ness. . . . 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

New York, 24 March, 1825. 31/2 p. m. 
My dear Sir, 

In reply to y[ou]rs of IQ**", this has been deferred 
until I c'^ close the issue of a very perplexing subject that 
has occupied much time & difference of opinion in the 
B[oar]d of Managers,- w^ holds its 4*'' meeting this 
mo [nth] this P. M. On Tuesday it was resolved to ap- 
point 3 Dom[estic Corresponding] Sec^^ in place of the 
Rev. Dr. Woodhull, to subdivide the duties & perform 
them gratuitously. They are to be elected this after- 

Friday 25*^ [March.] At the meeting yest[erda]y, 
the Rev. D^^ Woodhull ^ & M'^Auley & Rev. M^ Somers 
(Baptist) were elected Dom. Secretaries. M"" Eastburn 
having declined to prepare the An[nual] Report, the 
task will probably be executed by D^ M'^Auley, as M'^ 
Woodhulls health forbids. Time must prove the success 
of this Triumvirate. The spirit of parsimony that pre- 
vails, paralyses our efforts. More efficiency is requisite 
to reanimate some of our Aux[iliar]y dry bones. Our re- 
sources have diminished the Q**" year & with them our 
donations, but let us never despair. 

To mourn with those that mourn & rejoice with those 
that rejoice, is our bounden duty. I do most sincerely 
sympathize with my friend M" Griffith on the approach- 
ing departure of his dear Wife Cousin Abby, who will 

' Of the American Bible Society. 

3 Selah Strong Woodhull, Thomas McAuley, and Charles G. Som- 


be released from much suffering and her exchange will 
be for everlasting bliss, for she was always meek mild 
and good. Is M'* Armstrong the amiable daughter of 
Horace Stockton who was at Burlington during the last 
hours of her venerable uncle.'* She was then the picture 
of health & modesty. L^ Hunter ^ like my young friend 
& protege Clinton,^ soon terminates his military [career,] 
but he has the consol[atio]n of dying in the bosom of 
his family. . . . 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

N York, 26''^ May, 1825 
My dear Sir 

Your favour of 24*" postmark 25*'' is just received. 
Your proposition respecting the Deposit of $750 each, on 
ace* of your College & TheoP Sem^ must be submitted 
to the Trustees of the Savings Bank at their monthly 
meeting 8*" June, for decision. Restricted by Law to in- 
vest in Funds of the U. S. or this State, the high price 
of stocks is such as to have compelled us to diminish our 
Int[erest] to 4 p^ C* as likewise to curtail the am* of our 
deposits. The fact is that with all our circumspection 
we cannot keep down the weekly receipts. $500 is what 
we deem the extent for a single deposit, altho' we re- 
gard more the character & circumstances of the Deposi- 
tor than the sum, making the most liberal construction 
in favour of Ministers, Widows & Orphans. How far 
your proposition may come within the purview of our 
duty, is not for me to determine, altho I shall do what is 
in my power to support y"" application. You speak how- 
ever of ulterior arrangements. You must understand 

*Mrs. William Jessup Armstrong (Sarah Milnor Stockton), daughter 
of Lucius Horatio Stockton, was a great-niece of Ellas Boudinot. T. C. 
Stockton, The Stockton Family (1911), p. 130. 

° Richard Stockton Hunter, Lieutenant, U. S. Navv, died March 28, 
1825, at Princeton. N. Y. Evening Post, April 8, 1825; U. S. Navy 

6 James Henry Clinton, son of De Witt Clinton, died at sea of yellow 
fever in June, 1824. Hamersly's General Navy Register; Dorothie 
Bobbe, De Witt Clinton (1933), p. 267. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 165 

that according to our rules, no interest accrues until after 
a deposit of 3 mo[nths] & none is payable but half 
yearly. All sums withdrawn between the 1^* July & 
1. Jan'' lose their interest. The result of the Trustees 
opinion I will communicate. 

I regretted your absence at our last brilliant anni- 
v[ersary] exceeding all former. The gloom occasioned 
by the decease of our worthy & esteemed presid^ V[ice] 
P [resident] Gen. Clarkson was confined to his immedi- 
ate associates. Col Troup as you have heard is his suc- 
cessor. Please God another year you may be able to 
attend. Whether I may be here or removed to the world 
of spirits the great Bible cause will proceed with increas- 
ing vigour & prosperity, and I shall make room for a 
more efficient successor. 

You w*^ scarcely credit your senses to see the scenes 
of demolition & improvement that present themselves in 
every quarter of this thriving place, and it is with pleas- 
ure we hear that PhiP & Pennsylv* participate largely 
in the prevailing spirit of improvement & prosperity. 
The world is wide en° for us all, nor can I conceive why 
any rival jealousies sh*^ exist between our two cities. 
Phil" is a great, an elegant & an intellectual metropolis. 

[Addressed:] Samuel Bayard, Esq 
care of 
Andrew Bayard, Esq 
p"" post 

To Eliza Ellen Davidson, of New Orleans 

New York, Thurs^ 9*"^ June, 1825 

You know not what comfort it affords me to learn 
from your dear father & good Uncle Servoss how well 
you have conducted yourself, during the unfortunate con- 
finement of y"" affectionate indulgent IVIother. ... I par- 
ticipate so fully in these praises that I have promised 


dear Mama, in my letter by the Crawford, that I will 
send you some valuable token of my love & affection, by 
return of Uncle Servoss next fall, and she will intimate 
what may be appropriate & acceptable. I cannot how- 
ever defer an evidence of my intentions so long, and this 
morning I have purchased for [you] a beautiful secre- 
tary & workstand, w" I know you will value less for its 
intrinsic worth, than as coming from y"" fond g[ran]d- 
father. It is made of Birds-eye maple, that grew on the 
top of the Catskill mountains in this State, & being 
sawed fresh from the log while impregnated with sap, 
will retain its beautiful variegated hues. This wood has 
become recently an article of cabinet luxury, & is cheifiy 
imported from Maine, where it is sawed into slabs, with- 
out attention to the state of the Wood. It is made by 
M"" Young one of our best cabinet makers, & cost $36, 
ink glasses 1.50, w*" I mention to induce y' care of it. I 
shall put in a portfolio with some letter paper for you. 
Be careful not to ink the secretary. 

Sat^ IS**" June. ... I bought as I came down this 
morn^ i/2 yard of oil cloth lined with baize, w"" Mama 
will fit as a cover to your work stand, & you can bind 
with ferreting, with the remnant if not otherwise ap- 
plicable, you can cut out a little square to be also bound 
on w*" to set your lamp or candlestick to preserve the 
cover from being soiled. The beauty of the article will 
induce you to keep it in good order, and long preserve 
it as a token bestowed for y'" good behaviour during dear 
mothers illness, and an incitement to future excellence. 
On Monday I shall pack up & put in some paper & quills 
for you also the Battle of Bunkers Hill, fought yest'' 50 
years ago, with the same in a newspaper, w'' having read 
you had better cut out the plate & attach it to the 
pamphlet. That the boys & other children may have 
something also, I shall send a few silverings w'' allway 
come acceptable, esp^ for Master Larned & sensitive 
Mary, who must not feel neglected. . . . 

Wed'' 22^ June. This day last year, my darling 
g^daughter with her dear Aunt arrived at Quarantine & 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 167 

at 4 o'clock when I first saw you, I will on this anni- 
versary drink your health. ... In the work part of the 
stand, is a spice box for dear Mother. You know I must 
not neglect her. In the writing drawer is a little paper 
with some peices for the children, to keep all fair & quiet. 
The newspapers contain the celebration of Bunker Hill, 
on the 17^". Andrew has sent for the Boys Washingtons 
Farewell addres w** you can tack up in papas office. 

Wed^ 29*''. By the Florian your & dear mothers let- 
ters of 7*'' are just received. I find that you were in- 
vited to pass a few days when Mama c*' spare you at 
M-^ M'^Cutcheons, w'' will be of benefit to y^ health. . . . 
Mama asks me to procure some of Aunt's duplicate mu- 
sic. She has not unpacked any that I have seen. Prac- 
tice what you have got & towards fall I will look out for 
something modern & fashionable which is every thing 
as the World. Old Friends, & Old Songs suit old folks, 
but new airs become old in their turn. We are all fond 
of the melodies of our youth, and I go back with delight 
to the Songs & Tunes of my juvenile days when I used to 
torment a catgut & sing ''Down the bourne Davie Love," 
"Twas when the Seas were roaring," and ''Auld Robin 
Grey." Music has still its charms for me & former asso- 
ciations revive when I hear the ballads & songs that were 
chaunted by female friends & acquaintances, some of 
whom sang exquisitely. The voice was more cultivated 
when there was no piano to drown it. I have picked up 
a Book or two to beguile the tedium of your deserted 
state. M'^Kenzies ^ works are those of my early days 
excelling in style & pathos w'' [time] will never decay. 
I can shed tears as I write over Julia de Roubigne & 
[the Story of] La Roche. . . . 

[Addressed:] Miss Davidson 

New Orleans 
Ship Chancellor 
with a Box 

7 Henry Mackenzie (1745-1831). Dictionary of National Biography. 


To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

N York, ig**" July, 1825 
My dear Sir 

Your favour of 15^^ inst. was rec"* 16*''. Till this morn- 
ing I have not been able to make out y"" ac [count] as 
requested. Bal[ance] to y"" credit 517.78. If convenient 
I will thank you for the Newark Div[iden]d. Parens et 
infrequens scriptor, indeed I have little time for corre- 
spondence & less to say, except mere common place w^ 
does well eno[ugh] to my beloved daughter Davidson 
to whom as in duty bound I write weekly. Her sister 
M'^ Servoss is still in statu quo, daily hoping to be made 
a joyful mother of a living perfect child, of w^ happy 
event I shall apprize my dear sister. 

My kinsfolks the Millets appear to be unfortunate 
in their children. Indeed every instance of mortality 
ought to remind us of our own, of w'' I have daily warn- 
ings & trust that I profit by them, living as tho' this year 
may be my last. On Scott, ^ I repose, reading his excel- 
lent commentary morn^ & ev^ as I hope to do thro' my 
remaining days. To plain capacities & humble Xt°^ I 
regard Scott the most useful practical commentator that 
has yet appeared. He is text & sermon united, nor can 
I see anything in him too hard for digestion or subscrip- 
tion. The number of editions in EngP & Am" prove how 
greatly his labours are appreciated. I have lately ac- 
quired an elegant Lond[on] 4to. for old eyes. 

From grave to gay. I hope you had a splendid ev^ 
on Friday, with Gen. LaFayette & that all passed off 
satisfactorily. Except an inst [ant] at the Historical 
So[ciety] last year I have never laid eyes on the "Na- 
tions Guest" nor witnessed any of the numerous parades 
in this city. You see what a recluse I am grown, I hope 
not cynic. . . . 

8 Rev. Dr. Thomas Scott's Commentary on the Bible. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 169 

To Fitch Hall, of Boston 

,, , ^. , New York, 22<^ July, 1825 

My dear Fitch, 

You were fortunate in having escaped the intense 
heat that has prevailed generally, and to have made y"" 
jaunt, with less inconvenience than you w*^ otherwise 
have experienced. We are almost carbonadod by day 
and calcined at night. The oldest among us do not recol- 
lect a succession of such heat. The prevailing drought 
tho' injurious to the country is favourable to this city. 

By a letter of the P* inst. rec^ this day from my dear 
daughter Davidson, she writes that she expects to em- 
bark her boys Pintard & Marsden in the Brig Creole 
Cap* King to the care of M' Harrod[?], of Boston. The 
Brig was hourly looked for to sail immed^. They may 
be now on their passage. After staying a few days in y"" 
city, (I w*^ not have changed the name of the good old 
Town of Boston for all the cities in the world) they are 
to proceed to Cap* Partridge ^ at Middletown, where I 
hope to embrace them the 20*^ Aug*. I will thank M"" 
Curtis ^" to hunt them out, & introduce them to their 
cousins that they may find something like kindred 
friends in a strange country. . . . We shall expect M"" 
Servoss about the first week of August, ere w*" I hope his 
partner will be safe abed. . . . 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

New York, 2^^ August, 1825 
My dear Sir 

Inclosed is y"" ac [count] of this date, Bal[ance] in y"" 
favour $374.25, arising from the rec*^ of the Mechanick 

9 Alden Partridge (1785-1854), founder of the American Literary, 
Scientific and Military Academy, at Norwich, Vermont, which removed 
to Middletown, Conn., in 1825, returned to Norwich in 1829, and be- 
came Norwich tjniversity in 1834. Dodge and Ellis, History of Norwich 
University, 1S19-1911 (3 volumes) ; Dictionary of American Biography, 
XIV, 281-82. 

10 Nathaniel Curtis, Jr., husband of Fitch Hall's daughter, Emily 


Bank, City Stock & B"" of America. The Dividends of 
the latter I had overlooked for Jan^ & July, 1825. This 
proves like most old persons I am growing forgetful, & 
for fear of future omissions or accidents I sh*^ wish to re- 
sign my stewardship for Alma Mater, having served since 
Nov"" 1820, long enough. 

Expecting daily to acknowledge paym* of y" dft. 
$648.78 in favour of M"" Pearson Hunt, I have deferred 
mentioning that my daughter Servoss was put safe to 
bed on Sunday night 24*^ July, with a son,^^ who with its 
mother is doing very well. We expect the father on in 
the course of this month. 

For the first time in many weeks we had a refreshing 
rain last night. Our vegetable market has risen exor- 
bitantly, & is very inferior. But thank God our city is 
healthy. My duties during the heat of July in my office 
& at the Savings Bank almost prostrated me. A total 
loss of apetite for animal food, has reduced my energies 
of mind & body, but cool weather please God will re- 
store me. 

The Foundation of the Epis. Th[eological] Sem^ was 
laid last Thur'', probably all that will be done this year. 
Festina lente, is our motto. 2 students only took their 
degrees as having studied 3 years. Our young men are 
too impatient, w** is an injury to themselves & the char- 
acter of the Instit[utio]n. . . . 

To Mrs. Davidson 
New York, Tuesday 30^^^ Aug*, 1825 

I have written 8 letters^- this mo [nth] to my be- 
loved daughter, among others on 25*^ by mail announc- 
ing the safe arrival of M"" Servoss & my dear g'^sons,^^ 
26*^ by Brig William, 27*'' by mail, a postscript to y"" 
sons letters, 30*'' this day by ship William, inclosing let- 

11 John Pintard Servoss. 

12 None are preserved in the collection owned by The New York 
Historical Society. 

13 John Pintard Davidson and Lewis Marsden Davidson. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 171 

ters from M" S. & the boys. This is intended to go by 
mail on Sat^ 3*^ Sepf & I shall leave space for a short 
line from y"" sons. Their good behaviour, willingness to 
obey cheerfully & render every service required, induces 
me to do everything in my power to contribute to their 
amusement & happiness. . . . 

By the papers it appears that y"" former acquaintance 
Judge J. B. Prevost died the 6^^ March last on the top 
of the Cordilleras Upper Peru. It is said that he retired 
to rest well, & died before morn^. When last here, some 
years ago, he was very plethoric. You knew him well. 
He was vain & pompous, not active, & followed the fall 
of Col. Burr. Always civil to me when up in life, I 
treated him with respect when down. 

Wed^ [August] 31^* 

What a fine expressive countenance & action accompa- 
nies my dear namesake when he is animated with his 
subject. He speaks with uncommon precision, reflection 
& discrimination indicative of a solid understanding. 
Marsden is prompt & certainly much more precocious, & 
will excell his brother in off hand opinions. The dis- 
parity of years of course requires a little more maturity. 
He appears more taciturn & plodding than I expected. 
Always smiling, not playful, & neither of them mis- 
cheivous, very willing to listen to & follow advice, & 
to assist in any thing. Intelligent beyond their years 
& disposed to fulfill y"" fond hopes. . . . 

Thurs^ 1 Sept^ The Boys have written hastily, as 
they are obliged to return home to wait on g'^ma at 10. 
Tell y"" good friend M''^ Chew that her fine manly son 
Beverley has been very kind & attentive to them. M" C. 
will be charmed with her son. G'^ma is quite pleased 
with my namesake. She says if it was only one boy, she 
w^ keep him home & educate him at Columbia College, 
but 2 are too many. Marsden is evidently Uncle Ser- 
voss' favorite. An arch shrewd lad, & sh*^ he take right 
will make an uncommon fine man. His head is well 
stocked with brains & when he matures, will prove a 
prodigy or I am mistaken. Their reserve before me has 


abated. They are playful but not mischeivous. Andrew 
has this morn^ presented them with an excellent maga- 
zine of mathematical instruments worth $10, as a token 
of his regard. I shall get for them some hair pencils & 
Indian ink for drawing. When I see Cap* Partridge I 
can act more understandingly as to their wants. M"" S. 
told me that he saw, last ev^ M'" Browder of Bayou Sara. 
He is to call on me this morn^ to converse respecting his 
2 boys,^^ & Cap* P's Academy. They are now at Trenton. 

To Mrs. Davidson 

N York, Wed^ 7*^^ Sept^ 1825 

My beloved daughters letters of 5^^ Aug* by mail & 
15*'' by Ship Chancellor, were rec*^ on Monday S**" in my 

My last was by mail, P* inst. As advised I proceeded 
with your fine Boys on Friday afternoon on the St [earn] 
Boat Oliver Ellsworth for Middletown where we arrived 
next morn^ Sat^ 10 o'clock & found the wharf lined with 
Cadets in uniform w*" quite dazzled the eyes of my g'^sons. 
Young Moss ^^ & Anth^ Hutchins jumped on board to 
welcome the boys & attend them to our lodgings, after 
w*" I introduced them to Capt Partridge. The Build- 
ings ^^ are not quite ready, but expected to be completed 
next week. In the meantime the Cadets are generally 
billeted in the town. In the morn^ we viewed the new 
Academy, an elegant Building of Stone, 4 Stories, 150 f* 
by 50, with entries running thro' each floor & Chambers 
on each side to accomodate 4 Cadets. A fire place & 4 
Closets in each, with 4 Births, over each other as in bar- 

i*Bartlett M. Browder and John J. Browder, entered from St. Fran- 
cisville, La., were cadets at Partridge's Military Academy at Middletown 
in 1825-26. Dodge and Ellis, Norwich University, 1819-1911, III, 615. 

15 Sic for Morse : Isaac Edward Morse, of New Orleans, son of 
Nathan and Martha Crawford (Nichols) Morse. Dodge and Ellis, 
Norwich University, II, 182. 

16 The buildings of Partridge's American Literary, Scientific and 
Military Academy, at Middletown, Connecticut, were deeded to the 
trustees of Wesleyan University in 1833. Ihid., I, 66. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 173 

racks. This Edifice is intended as a wing. In the centre 
is another in the Style of a Church with a tower in front 
containing a basement for the Professor of Chemistry & 
experimental Philosophy, 2 stories above with entries & 
recitation rooms on each side, 3*^ story with arched ceil- 
ing, for public examinations, Cap* P's Lectures, & a 
Chapel. At some distance on the South is another stone 
edifice, to serve as a Mess House. Large Kitchen sup- 
plied with Aqueduct Water, root houses & domestics 
rooms in the basement. A long dining room, to spread 
4 Tables, Stewards family rooms & offices. A range of 
handsome apartments to be finished in the upper story 
to accomodate the parents & friends of the Cadets who 
may be induced to visit them. The Site of the Academy 
is on a beautiful elevated ridge, overlooking the town 
with an extensive view of Connecticut river, & the coun- 
try eastward. The whole scenery is very picturesque & 
delightful. The area comprizes 15 Acres, beyond whcich] 
no Cadet is allowed to pass without a permit. Having 
looked at the exterior, let us now take a view of the 
interior of this important Institution. The great outline 
of Cap* P's system is delineated in the Prospectus sent 
to you & w" Pintard has by heart. Some modifications 
adapted to the change from Norwich to Middletown but 
immaterial, have been made & when published shall be 
sent. Cap* P. may be regarded in the light of a Presi- 
dent of a College, who gives lectures & superintends the 
professors with this advantage, that as his all is at stake, 
his attention & diligence is more minute & exact. The 
scientific department is immed[iatel]y under his direc- 
tion. Mathematics in all its branches, both theoretical 
& practical. With M"" Williston, the classical teacher, I 
had a long conversation, & altho we differ as to the 
modes of the old and new school instruction, he is I be- 
lieve very competent. On one essential point we agree 
that the pupils write out all their Syntax & Introduction 
exercises, w^ impresses them more indelibly on their 
minds. This I know from experience. I told him to be- 
gin with our boys, from the grammar, as tho' they had 


never learned Latin, & to let them proceed no faster 
than they were well grounded in first principles. This 
is more important than people generally imagine. He 
extolled his own method, of w" I told him, if my life was 
spared, I w'^ be a scrutinizing judge, at the annual elec- 
tion in August next. The French Instructor was not in 
town. I was informed by M"" Proal the Spanish Tutor, 
that he was an excellent teacher. The latter, my old 
& long acquaintance & under some obligations to me, 
will I am persuaded do y' sons justice in that language. 
He thinks that in 2 mo[nth]s they will be able to speak 
it, in the mean time he will always converse with them 
in French, to improve them. M"" Proal is an Episco- 
palian & will take my g'^sons under his charge, every Sun- 
day to Church, & M"" Noble the minister will have an 
eye to them. Cap* P. intends having service in his 
Chapel, a kind of general accommodation to give of- 
fence to none. I told him that I was conscientiously 
scrupulous about the religious instruction of my g'^sons, 
and that it was a sine qua non with me that they sh*^ 
go to an Orthodox Church. He accorded with my re- 
quest as also, tho' a little out of order, that young Moss, 
Hutchins & our boys sh^ be roommates w*" is agreeable 
to them all. M"" M. to be superintendant, to lie aloft, 
Pintard next, Hutchins next & Marsden in the trundle 
bed, that slips under the births in the dcaytiime. Each 
birth has an excellent mattrass, pillows, blankets & 
sheets. Each boy has a desk with a lift, 2 drawer & little 
book case, locks & keys. Every book & cit]em is regis- 
tered & weekly inspected, & the rooms swept in turn. 
Every boy brings in wood water &c. & waits on himself. 
They rise with the dawn, at beating the reveillee. Roll 
call, drill, breakfast, study. The military exercises are 
interludes & the parades inspire a soldierly air, neatness 
& precision. In short all is military exactness & dis- 
cipline. I have no doubts of the LAca]demy, nor fear 
of improvement. 

Thurs'' [September] 8*^. rainy day ... I was called 
off at 12 yest^ to attend a meeting at the Coffee Ho [use] 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 175 

on the subject of celebrating the completion of the [Eri]e 
Canal, probably P' Oct"' next. M'^ Bayard ^^ was app'^ 
chairman, myself Sec^, In Dec"" 1817, we officiated at 
the first meeting in this city to petition the Legislature 
to undertake Cthe] enterprize. At that time a desperate 
effort, such was the state of party spirit in opposition 
to M"" Clinton. A respectable Com[mitte]e is ap- 
pcoilnted to apply to the Corporation to co-operate. The 
state ought to have made provision for celebrating an 
event so propitious to the interests of the State at large 
& esp'' of this city. I trust that the order of the day will 
not disgrace us. 

I am very happy to learn from the Doctors letter to 
M"" Servoss that his Infirmary is doing so well. May it 
soon lead him to independence. Two such boys as yours 
challenge all his efforts to educate them. I think from 
my description that M"" S. will place his son Thomas 
under Cap* P[artridge]. . . . 

To Mrs. Davidson 

New York, Thur^ S*'^ Sept^ 1825 

After despatching my letter of this day by mail, I 
opened a small memorandum Book for the Doctor to 
keep all the rec*^ & payments for our dear boys together 
to take home with them when their education is fin- 
ished. I have credited $400, pay [able] by M"" Russels 
accept due 24*'' inst. & charged $400, paid Cap* Partridge 
on the 5*'' having it in my power to advance this sum, 
without charging the Doctor discount. Just after send- 
ing my letter to the post office, I rec*^ a letter post mark 
N[ew] 0[rleans] Q*'' Aug* addressed to my namesake to 
my care, in a neat hand writing, w^ I shall forward to 
him with my letter tomorrow, by young M"" Mar- 
ston.^^ . . . 

I'' William Bayard. 

18 Charles A. Marston, son of John Marston and Margaret (Win- 
throp) Yates Marston. Dodge & Ellis, Norwich University, III, 624; 
Marston Genealogy (1888), pp. 577-78. 


Friday [September] 9^^ 11 o'clock. I have just closed 
my letter & sent off to the care of Master Marston my 
pacotille for our boys, containing the following imple- 
ments, 1 awl & spare blade, 1 Brad awl, d[itt]o, 1 Punch, 

1 p'' pincers, 1 Hammer, 1 Seal, letter D, peice of red 
tape to bind up their letters, with mem*" how to address 
their letters. The Articles they took with them were, 

2 Prayer Books, Tytlers History, 2 pocket knives, 2 port 
Folios, 2 pocket Inkstands, 4 Quires letter paper, 2 d'' 
Foolscap, 2 d° common, 1 doz Camel hair pencils, 2 Cakes 
India Ink, 2 pieces Indian Rubber, 1 p"" Shoe brushes, 
1 bottle Blacking, 1 d" Ink, all w^ is given, but set down 
in a little mem° book. . . . 

It was a most propitious circumstance that diverted 
the Boys from Boston to N Y: as it has afforded me an 
oppo[rtunity] of becoming acquainted with their ap- 
pearance, habits & dispositions, all w*" are highly in their 
favour & the praise of my beloved daughter for her care 
& domestic discipline. Indeed they gave no trouble 
at home, nor none on their passage in the St[eam] Boat, 
playful, curious but not obtrusive. Every Cadet being 
billeted wherever quarters c*^ be obtained, it was difficult 
to find accommodations, w** were provided where their 
Latcin] Instructor lodged. 

Saturday [September] lO**". Yesf afternoon, the 
Canal Comm® met & this morn^ at 10, M"" Bayard, Colden 
& myself wait on the Mayor with a request to be laid 
before the Corporation on Monday, to appoint a joint 
Comm^ to devise a plan for celebrating the completion 
of an enterprize second only in importance to this State, 
to the declaration & achievement of Am. Independence. 
It is my wish that an Obelisk commemorative of this 
event sh** be erected on the Battery, but whether it be 
possible to screw up our Corporation, is to be seen. At 
any rate every military & civic distinction will be paid. 
It is proposed to conduct the Canal Boat, after making 
its passage the whole line of the Erie Canal to the Hud- 
son to Sandy Hook, and to mingle the Waters of Lai±e 

TO HIS DAUGHTER. 1825 177 

E]rie brought down for the purpose with the Ocean, & 
thus celebrate the marriage of Neptune with the Lady 
of the Lake. The Governor, the Father of this im- 
portant enterprize will be invited to assist at the Fian- 
gailles, and M' Golden, to whose zeal in the Legislature 
in 1818, much is owing, will probably deliver an address. 
All this may take place about the date when you read 
these lines. 

(11 o'clock) Just returned from the Gity Hall having 
delivered our request to the Mayor to be laid before 
the Gommon Gouncil on Monday aft.noon. There is 
every hope of a favourable reception. Inclosed is an 
Extract from the Statesman of last ev^ that gives an idea 
of what is in contemplation & saves repetition. All alone 
& enacting the part of Father Anselmo once more, I am 
laying up our Winter store of Wood & Goal to get all 
snug ag* our folks return. This & the G^ Ganal subject 
serves to amuse me, happy that my yet active mind can 
find employ. One favourable part of Gap* Partridges 
system, is constant occupation, from study to drill & 
exercises, Lectures, fatigue duty, no time is wasted or 
idle, w"" cannot but inculcate habits of industry & ap- 
plication that may influence the Gadets thro' life. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Brig Dolphin 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 

New York, 17*^ Sepf, 1825 
My dear Sir 

On my way to Wall St. I met your Rev[erend] son, 
who had come to town for his daughter. He told me 
with much agitation that you had it in contemplation to 
advertise the place at N Rochelle for sale, on the pre- 
sumption that he would transfer himself & Family to 
our Western Gountry. The momentary conversation 
which we had on the subject when I had the pleasure 
of seeing you & him, after y"" return from your Ganal 


tour, made a favourable impression on my mind, as to 
the plausibility of such a step. 

He tells me however that after conferring with the 
Rev. D" Lyell, who is Secretary of the Missionary 
So[ciety] of the Epis[ copal] Church, that there is little 
prospect of being able to establish himself in that quarter 
utterly destitute of resources without the very slender 
miss^ aid afforded, about $100 p'' an. to each missionary, 
that every good parish, with a tolerable living of $800 
a year is occupied, in short that he c*^ not support him- 
self & family. 

Would it not be prudent, indeed necessary therefore 
to postpone the consideration of a sale until your son 
can look about where to settle anew. Indeed under the 
present state of commercial reverses, no offer worthy ac- 
ceptance can be expected. Altho property has risen dur- 
ing the late feverish excitement, w^ is rapidly subsiding 
within this city & parts adjacent bought on speculation 
to lay out villas & country retreats, the old country seats 
on this island have not experienced any great demand, 
not even risen to their former value. I know this for 
a fact. My office sold a very excellent seat cost upward 
of $9000, in Aug* last, for $5000 & the purchaser wished 
to back out. 

This moreover is not the period of the year to offer 
property at Auction. About the middle of January to 
1 Feb'' is the season, so that you have time for delibera- 
tion. An advertisement offering the property at this 
juncture, w*^ most probably occasion parents to with- 
draw their children from a school, that is shortly to be 

To Airs. Davidson 

Monday, 19*^ Sept^ 1825. 9 A. M. 

... I have ordered a tub of the freshest butter, 
packed as before, to be sent to the lighter this morn^ to 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 179 

go down to the Crawford at Quarantine, Cap* H[olmes] 
telling me that it is the last trip. He promises to have 
it put in the Store Room, also a saw & buck for Larned 
a present from his dear brothers. . . . 

10 o'clock. ... I am still the solitaire, no letter since 
that announcing the safe arrival of the party ^^ at Bos- 
ton all well, & probably shall not hear until they have 
reached Albany. The weather is very propitious. In my 
exercises of yest'', I read the 13*^ & 14*" Chapters of 
Proverbs in Scotts Bible, the Commentary on w" I 
thought peculiarly applicable to every parent. . . . You 
have Scotts Commentary. Looking into these Chapters 
will give you an idea of the value of this most important 
& useful work, that has gone thro' 10 Editions in this 
Country, more probably in England & is about being 
translated into French as the best family Expositor ex- 
isting. It is my daily text book, & will be so to the end 
of my days. 

1 o'clock. ... I saw M"" Foster ^^ who had just ret** 
from Newburgh. He talks of setting off in a week with 
his wife & her mother for Pittsburg. The Crawford re- 
turns full of passengers. I also saw M"" Babcock ^^ who 
returns in the Russell P* Octo[ber]. His eyes quite 
dazzle when Miss Smiths name is mentioned. If ret** 
he is to take tea with our folks next Sunday. He ap- 
pears to be an excellent young man. Your budget by 
the Florenzo is just rec*'. 

Tuesday [September] 20*'' I must improve my time 
because my days are busy. Yest^ afternoon, the Canal 
celebration met. This day at 12, we go to the City Hall 
to meet the Com^ of the Corpor" w'' probably will not 

19 Mrs. Pintard, Mr. and Mrs. Servoss, and the baby, John Pintard 

20 Probably James Foster, who married in 1820 Ann Eliza Clinton, 
daue;hter of Charles and Elizabeth (Mulliner) Clinton and niece of 
DeWitt Clinton. N. Y. Evening Post, Oct. 2, 1820; Olde Ulster (1905), 
I, 55. 

21 Henry Babcock later married Anna C. Smith, daughter of John 
Witherspoon Smith and Sarah Henrietta (Duer) Smith. Stephen Bab- 
cock, Bahcock Genealogy (1903), p. 127. 


co-operate, the interview being matter of courtesy. At 

5 p. m. I have to attend a meeting of the Executors of 
M"" Scudder, respecting the concerns, & quite important, 
of the Museum. 

Wed^ 2V\ Equinoctial Rain prelude I fear to a 3 
Days storm w** is bad for our travellers, from whom I 
have not a line since at Boston. I have just written a 
long letter on the subject of the Canal Celebration. 

12 o'clock. I resume my Diary. I called on M"" 
Marston who has returned much pleased with Cap* P's 
Academy. Our Cadets were well & now lodge in their 
room, but diet at the Hotel, the Mess house not being 
completed. . . . 

Thurs^ 22^. ... I have just rec** a line from M' 
Servoss, dated 20*" Tuesday, 10 p. m. on b"^ the Lady 
Clinton on their way down the Hudson. All well, hearty 

6 in fine spirits. They were to stop at Newburgh 2 
A. M. & cross in the morn^ to Fishkill, yest^ morn^, stay 
a day or two & proceed home. . . . 

Friday [September] 23"^. A letter from M"" Servoss 
yest^ at Fishkill, M*" Schencks Factory, where the trav- 
ellers all arrived safe & met a hearty welcome & will 
remain over till Monday, the weather being showery all 
this time, but not a storm. The babe remarkably well 
& all in health & spirits. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Crawford 

Cap* Rathbone 

To Mrs. Davidson 

N York, Sat^ 24*^^ Sept^ 1825 

Monday 26*". ... 1 o'clock. Having had some Bank 
duty to attend to, I have now leisure to tell you what 
a feast I have enjoyed in reading over all the remarks 
of y' dear children on the arrival of their little cousin 
. . . Dear dear godchildren, I see you all grouped about 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 181 

poor lame mother talking & making observation that w** 
delight me to hear Lament not the late dispensa- 
tion of Providence, nor reflect on y*" physicians. To save 
the all important life of the Mother, the babe was pos- 
sibly sacrificed. But of this, restored to health, you 
are no competent judge. The crisis appeared widely dif- 
ferent at the time, from the period at w** you look back. 
Bow in submission and say that all is ordered for the 
best. I have been writing a long letter of instructions 
also to our dear boys, which I shall conclude tomorrow 
& inclose yours, by mail. They will have the pleasure 
of receiving both on Thur'' probably the packet by M' 
Babcock, tomorrow. Do not trouble y^'self with sending 
any presents w^ are inadmissible. The general rules must 
not be infringed. Express no regrets to them, nor set 
them longing after "the flesh pots of N. O." They all 
fare alike on wholesome substantial food & plenty. It 
is right that boys sh*^ go from home to get weaned from 
the delicacies of a fond mothers table. . . . Yes dear 
boys, they will miss the bon bons & niceties of mothers 
table but it is best to learn betimes to rough it. They 
live like fighting cocks to what I did, clam brocth] & 
Indian Dumplins at least 5 times a week, at school, & 
baked mutton at Princeton 4 years, without a change, 
but we boarded for a Dollar a week & how was it possible 
to fare better. No, we must encourage the Cadets not 
to repine. I have no fear for Marsden, who is more 
easily satisfied. A belly full, is all he wants. On re- 
flection, I am quite satisfied that we have made a good 
pitch. They will get under Cap* Partridge all that is 
taught at other Academies, and over & above, the higher 
sciences & the manly exercises of military tactics, con- 
stantly practised w** invigorates & strengthens their 
limbs, & corrects bad habits of body, into w"" sedentary 
scholars so easily glide. Conscious of their attainments, 
the batallion of Cadets w*^ do honour to the best militia 
corps in this city, & I am persuaded Pintard esp^, that 
our lads will not be the last of their squad. I think 


you may safely recommend the Academy to your friend 
M'^ Wederstrand. . . . 

Tuesday [September] 27'''. Yest^ was quite a red 
letter day in my Calendar. The receipt of so many let- 
ters from my beloved daughter, & the arrival at 8 p. m. 
of our travellers in a hard rain. My little namesake as 

fat as a pig The Corporation at its meeting last 

ev^ reappointed their former Committee with full powers 
to celebrate the completion of the C^ Western Canal. 
Our join Committees are summoned, altho' a rainy day 
to meet for preparatory arrangements, at the Recorders 
office, City Hall, this day at 1 o'clock. Another Cadet ^^ 
goes on this day to Cap* Partridge, the son of M"" George 
Astor, by whom I have just closed my letter to our dear 
Boys with yours. ... I am happy to find that M"" 
S[ervoss] sustains no injury in the Bill way, & only 
some loss of profit in the fall of Cotton w*" I hope has 
seen its lowest depression, altho' very fatal consequences 
must result to this city, the Carolinas, & Georgia, & 
probably to yours. A computation is made that Bills; 
under protest, will return to this country to the am* 
of Five Millions of Dollars. Dreadful! 

Wedn^ [September] 28*\ I know not whether I shall 
not be obliged to go to Albany this aft. noon, to confer 
on the part of our Comm^ with that of Albany, on the 
preparations for celebrating the completion of the Canal. 
I attended a meeting of the Com" yest^, when after the 
adjustment of preliminary arrangements, I retired at 
% p. 2, when I was nominated to go to Albany at 5 this 
p. m., of w"" I rec*^ notice, not till 8 at night. I shall 
endeavour to get excused & except at 9, a gent" to call 
on me with instructions. . . . We are so destitute of aid, 
nobody but Tamar & the Nurse, that Mama & Sister 
are entirely occupied with house work. I am glad to 
say that M"" S[ervoss] will probably, if not dissuaded by 
M' Schenck send Thomas to Middletown. He comes to 

22 George P. Astor, of New York City, was a cadet at the Military 
Academy, in Middletown, Conn., 1825-1827. Dodge and Ellis, Norwich 
University, III, 613. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 183 

town next week, when the matter will be decided, & 
after the ensuing celebration, sh'^ M"" S. conclude to 
change his school, I will endeavour to accompany him 
to Middletown & see the Cadets. . . . 

10 o'clock. I have concluded to go, having been 
app[ointe]d, tho' unwittingly it is difficult to decline, & 
perhaps some one, less zealous, might go. This important 
subject shall not languish by any remissness on my part. 

New York, Friday, r'"" Oct^ 1825 

My last of Q^^ inst.^^ was by the Virginia, w^ sails 
to day. This is intended to go by the Chancellor 15^^ 
unless an earlier oppo[rtunity] occurs. We endured 
yest^ the most oppressive heat that has ever been recol- 
lected in Octo"", indeed the 3 preceding days were uncom- 
monly hot for the season. It is to be feared that several 
of the early passengers in the Crawford & Russell may 
fall victims on their arrival at N[ew] 0[rleans] so eager 
are men of business to get back to their stations. Yest^ 
aft.noon the Bible So[ciety] & committees for celebrat- 
ing the completion of the Erie Canal met at the same 
hour, 4 P. M. My duty exacted my attendance at the 
former, whereby I have escaped a reappointment as Sec'' 
of the Erie Com^ & shall thus save myself a great deal 
of trouble. Indeed I have had my full share already 
& am glad to escape. A great animation is excited & the 
processions aquatic & ashore will do our city honour. 
The City Hall will be splendidly illuminated as at the 
Peace, as also our Hotels, & places of public amusement, 
besides a brilliant BaU to the Ladies. Not so splendid 
perhaps, but more comfortable than the famous Castle 
Garden Fayette Ball, w*" my darling did not witness. 

Tomorrow, w** promises to be a fair day, our christen- 
ing party goes to N Rochell, a place I rarely visit & 
never without a pang. Every association is painful & 
unpleasant, departed friends, all all no more, every room, 

23 Missing from the Pintard MSS. owned by The New- York Histori- 
cal Society. 


every spot of ground, every view recalls the embodied 
spirits of those once so dear [to] me, & superadded is the 
recollection of my beloved daughters & her 4 infant chil- 
drens transient abode in 1815. . . . 

Monday [October] lO'** . . . According to arrangem*, 
we proceeded on Sat^ at 10 for N. Rochelle, Mother, 
Sister, Nurse & child, & myself in a coach, M"" Servoss & 
his fine son Thomas in a gig. We arrived seasonably at 
1, & were most cordially welcomed by M"" & M" Bayard 
under the once hospitable family roof of my dear good 
old Uncle & father. All my departed friends with scenes 
of past happiness came fresh before me, a melanchoUy 
pleasure. The density of the sea fog prevented all pros- 
pect, & diminished our gratification as to scenery, But 
we passed our time very pleasantly indeed. On Sunday 
we went to the beautiful Village Church, ^^ w^ I described 
I believe when it was consecrated. After the 2^ morn^ 
lesson, we went up to the Baptismal Font, where the 
service was very solemnly & impressively performed by 
the Rev. M"" Bayard. M" Servoss & myself were God- 
fathers to both children. Sister Godmother to Thomas, & 
Mama to our dear g'^son. The office, & so many of us 
attending this holy sacrament of our Church had an 
imposing effect on a country congregation. It was par- 
ticularly gratifying to the Rector that his kinsfolk came 
all the way from N York for the purpose. Thomas be- 
haved with all due gravity & my little namesake never 
whimpered. He is a lovely & a good child. After an 
elegant dinner we left N. R. at 3, & reached home in 
safety at 1/2 P. 6. M"" S. complimented the Rector with 
a fee of $10. each for his sons, & what with presents &c. 
the expense of our comfortable entertainment, was, as it 
ought to be amply compensated. Several buildings have 
arisen since my last visit, & N Rochelle after being al- 
most stationary ever since the Revo[lutionary] War, 
when indeed it suffered greatly, is now like other parts 
of our State improving. 

Tuesday [October] IV^. Uncle Servoss has con- 

2* Trinity Church, the edifice erected 1823-24. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 185 

eluded to go on Friday with Thomas, as most convenient 
for him. I have written by this days mail to the Cadets, 
to keep a look out for us on Saturday. M"" S. will then 
be able, from ocular demonstration, to give an ace* of 
the Institution and of y"" sons, & answer such enquiries 
as any of y"" friends may make. The time approaches 
for his return & Sisters heart begins to grow heavy at 
the thought of parting with so kind a husband. While 
at N Roehelle I learned that Aunt Patty had set off on 
Friday last for Virginia with her daughters. Julia ex- 
pects to be confined in December. She is very delicate 
& little calculated to live absent from her parents. Her 
husband is the most silent man I ever saw, & herself as 
taciturn. Sequestered on his plantation they see none 
but family friends who visit seldom. There is no society 
in the vicinity, so that the change, after the constant 
intercourse at home, must be great & have a depressing 
effect on her spirits when her mother & sister leave her. 
She will probably wither, droop & die. It was an im- 
prudent, early, hasty match in my opinion. . . . 

Thur^ 13*'' Oct^ . . . The hazy, dense atmosphere, 
caused by the devastations of Fire in the Forests of 
Maine, has at length cleared off with a beautiful prospect 
of fair weather for our jaunt tomorrow. Thomas took 
tea last ev^ with us, with the Miss Tellers of Fishkill 
where our folks were kindly entertained. He is in fine 
spirits at the idea of joining the Academy. He will be 
13 next March, a little older than Pintard. His dispo- 
sition is very amiable & he will make our boys a fine 
playmate. Above all they may by early association 
prove useful to each other in their future lives. I have 
just procured an elegant Box Flageolet for Marsden, 
second hand but as good as new cost $3.50, Book 75/100. 
M"' Riley a music dealer & acquaintance performed on 
it, & assured me he c*^ not sell it for $5 if new. It has a 
key & for similar, little larger they asked me in other 
shops $8. So that I have come off very well. . . . Not- 


withstanding your Rev. pastor M"" Clapp's prejudices, I 
have reason to hope that the selection of Cap* Partridges 
Academy has been judicious. As yet I am well satis- 
fied, or I c*^ not have consented that M' Servoss sh*^ 
have decided to place his very fine son there. I hope to 
be better informed on my approaching visit. . . . Their 
boarding abroad was temporary, they are not at Com- 
mons. Undoubtedly it is essential to the discipline of 
the Academy, that the Cadets should be under the eye 
of Cap* P. Of this the ace* of the opening of his Acad- 
emy & Judge Dana's address forwarded to you, give 
full information. Cap* P. has to encounter the preju- 
dices & rival jealousies of many established schools & 
seminaries, but I feel great confidence in his talents & 
discipline, and the abilities of his professors. Had he not 
established the most entire confidence in the opinions 
of the good sober minded discreet economical people 
of Middletown, they never w"^ have encountered so heavy 
a subscription as $37,000, to erect the elegant buildings 
& grant the use to Cap* P. during his life, without any 
consideration. This speaks volumes in his praise, for 
I know the character of the gentlemen concerned. Let 
no idle rumours therefore disquiet you, but trust confi- 
dently in my reports, w^ shall be candid & unbiassed. I 
had not heard of the lamented death of M' Waller ^^ 
... I sympathise sincerely with y"" dear friend M" Chew 
in this aflaicting dispensation. . . . Tell M' Chew that 
I shall render M"" Ludlow every counsel & aid required 
to procure a teacher for y" Boys Orphan Assylum. I 
shall spare no efforts to accomplish the object. It is my 
delight as well as duty to serve benevolent Institutions 
wherever established. It was but last ev^ when M"" Ser- 
voss conversed with me on the eminent utility of a Sav- 
ings Bank & Lancastrian School, in N[ew] 0[rleans] 
when I expressed the fond but idle wish, that were I 
younger, how familiar these Institutions are to me, & 

25 Probably Booker Waller, brother-in-law of Beverly Chew. The 
Thomas Book (1896), pp. 282-83. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 187 

how useful I might be in promoting their establish- 
ment. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Frances 

New York, Friday, 14^*^ Oct^ 1825 

I have just written a letter of advice, to my much 
valued friend M"" Eastburn, who again sails for England 
on Sunday, on an agency that must be productive of 
benefit. Long associated with him in many of our useful 
& benevolent societies, I know his worth and esteem him 
highly. I shall miss him for he is my intellectual friend. 
I think that I sent to you one of his letters w^ shows 
the man. There is something painful in parting with 
the possibility of never meeting again. I thot it easier & 
freer to take leave by a friendly note. 

M"" Servoss contemplates sailing on the 26*'' in the 
Louisiana, leaving Sister & child comfortably provided. 
What may be his future decision as to permanent resi- 
dence here, is doubtful. ... I cannot but believe that 
transplantation will ultimately prove beneficial, & it will 
afford him to introduce & leave his succession to his son 
in a more healthy clime than N[ew] 0[rleans]. Sister 
feels dispirited at the thought of hereafter returning to 
y'city. . . . 

II o'clock. I have stepped to Cap* Holmes, who is 
always obliging. M"" Russell & his clerks are the con- 
trary. The Frances they said was to sail at 10, by w^ 
as the earliest ship, I sent my letter. She will not go 
till tomorrow & probably this by the Chancellor will first 
reach you. There will be no other oppo [rtunity] till the 
Louisiana. Of course my next will probably be by M' 

[Addressed by:] Ship Chancellor. 


New York, Tuesday 18*^ Oct', 1825 

My last of 14"' inst. by the Frances & Chancellor, 
sailed 16^^, informing my beloved daughter that I in- 
tended accompanying M"" Servoss to place his son at 
Middletown, w" w" afford me an oppo[rtunity] after 5 
weeks residence of our boys to judge somewhat of the 
nature of Capt Partridges Academy, whether the prac- 
tice, in any degree corresponded with the outline of his 
prospectus, whether it was fancy work or reality, <fe 
whether it was a mere military school, or place of useful 
instruction. Take the result of my observations without 
varnish or exaggeration. I had written by post that we 
expected to come on in the Saturdays Steamboat, pre- 
suming that day to be a jour de repos, to meet our Cadets 
on the Wharf. But no such day is allowed thro' fear of 
ill consequences. Your dear Boys on sight of the ap- 
proach of the Boat, the Academy commanding a full 
view of the river, ran down, by permission, to welcome 
us, & take Thomas by the hand, & in 5 minutes at fur- 
thest ret[urne]d back, by order. The effect of disci- 
pline struck both M"" Servoss & myself, & c*^ you have 
seen the Cadets, Marney esp^, it w^ like mine, have made 
your heart bound. The soldier boys in full uniform, 
looked like veterans. 

Our passage was tedious, wind N. E., lowering & 
rain, instead of 10, as before, we did not arrive till 2. 
After engaging quarters & dining at the Hotel, we went 
up to the Academy, where I introduced M' S. to Cap* 
P[artridge]. Next we went to the Cadets room, where 
I was gratified to see every thing in order, before they 
came back from Spanish School. Pintards closet was 
perfectly arranged, all the implements I had sent him, 
placed neatly in a tape border on the inside of the door, 
also his thread case. In short, everything as it sh^ be, 
neat & clean, & muskets also. The boys were sent for, 
& we chatted till 4, when the beat of the Drum, sum- 
moned them to parade. A batallion of 260 Cadets in uni- 
form made an imposing spectacle. It was to march. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 189 

without muskets, w^ occupied an hour, the musick time 
was at the rate of 4 miles an hour, allowing for evolu- 
tions, forming the line, wheeling &c. 14, the exercise 
amounted to 3 miles in an hour, wholesome & in the 
open air, gave the Cadets a fine appetite for their supper. 
Our younkers formed of course the last platoon, & Mars- 
den the least boy of the whole squad. As the Cadets 
are obliged to keep the same time, & measure the same 
distance, it w*^ have made you laugh to see Marney 
stretching his little legs at full lope, to keep in line, w'' 
he did the whole time without intermission, exactly. 
M"" S. & myself visited the Mess house, before Tea. We 
went firstly into the kitchen where every thing is on a 
large scale. All hands were employed in preparing. The 
whole mess. Bread, Butter, Sugar, Cheese, Cups & 
Saucers spoons &c. are placed in a large frame, with sev- 
eral shelves, & hoisted up thro' a trap door into the Mess 
room, from whence they are distributed in neat & exact 
order on 8 long tables. A number of Cadets denomi- 
nated carvers first enter & prepare everything for eat- 
ing. The Batallion marches in from the parade, 2 
abreast, & file to the right & left & occupy their places 
without the least disorder or confusion. All standing 
& in order, not a word spoken, at a tap of the drum, for 
all goes by beat of drum, the Cadets in a twinkling doff 
their caps, seat themselves & fall to like hearty soldiers, 
after a long days march. This exercise it is said they 
perform with more precision & alacrity than any other, 
and I believe it. When all have done, at another tap 
on the drum, they all rise, file off & march back to the 
parade, & are dismissed to study in their chambers. 
After this we took our leave. Sunday morn^ we went 
up at 9, & sat with the Boys, when several lads from y"" 
country came in to see M"" S. There are 15 Louisiana & 
Natchez Cadets, all very sociable together as hailing 
from the same quarter. This morn^ the Chapel was 
opened for the first time. A young minister, M"" Col- 
lett,^^ educated at Yale & Andover is appointed Chap- 

26 Sic for Colton, the Rev. Walter Colton, Yale, 1822. 


lain. Orthodox in his creed, pious, but just ordained, 
somewhat precise w^ will wear off by intercourse. He is 
sound in the Faith of his Lord & Master Jesus Christ, 
whose doctrines he is resolved to inculcate, without being 
too abstract. I was pleased with his conversation, & 
upon the whole accord with the propriety of all the 
Cadets attending Divine Service in the Chapel, to keep 
them from mispending their time or abusing the Sab- 
bath. Singing was well performed, & will be extended 
when the Chapel service is organized. Cap* P. intends 
to embody the Cadets who perform on the Flute, Violin 
&c" as a substitute for an organ, to aid the voices, & 
probably our musical Marney will be a performer. I 
took up a Flageolet for him, & on Monday he played 
on it, by ear. Hail Columbia, very well indeed. I asked 
Pintard if he wished any Instrument, but he said that 
he had not a musical turn. They are both fine boys, 
but in learning Marney takes the lead. I am happy to 
say, that by accommodation, Thomas will be a room- 
mate with your sons & Anthony Hutchins, so that it will 
be quite a family party & I have full confidence that they 
will live in harmony. By permission, I took them home 
to dine with us, also young Morse, & had pudding, pies 
& sweetmeats provided for their regale. After w^ they 
returned to Chapel & M"" S. & myself attended the Epis. 
Church. We then went & passed an hour with the 
Cadets. Next morn^ Monday, Thomas was entered at 9, 
& when the Schools were opening, we took our leave, 
Thomas remaining under the care of Cap* Davidson 
who by seniority commands the room. The Cadets in 
high spirits, quite content, no tears, all glee, Marney 

jumping the rope, & all blythe as you please 

Wed^ 19^^. I have omitted to mention that the diet 
is plentiful & excellent, the Bread, Bakers, equal to the 
best in this city. To cut up so many loaves, in slices, 
they use a cutting knife, like for straw, w** slices the 
Loaves thro' with great despatch. Yankee folks are full 
of notions. . . . The beginning of Novem' Cap* P. in- 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 191 

tends to march the Cadets to Hartford, stay one night, 
& return next day. He provides accommod^ for them 
in private families. The distance is 15 miles, a good 
stretch for our Cadets. He takes 2 or 3 wagons to 
relieve the little Boys & carry the arms of those, like 
Marney, too young to endure fatigue. This is to be the 
only excursion this fall. Next spring in May, he pur- 
poses to march to New Haven 35 miles, & after examina- 
tion in August, he thinks he may visit N York. These 
marches are intended to employ the time otherwise lost 
in vacation. Surveys of distances, heights of mountains, 
mineralizing & botanical researches, amuse & afford 
practical instruction on the route. All the Cadets are 
mineralogists, & ours have gathered a variety of speci- 
mens in the neighbourhood. This branch will not be 
taught till next summer, as D"" Barrett,-^ the professor 
of Chemistry & Mineralogy passes the winter at West 
Point. He is an Englishman, of very superior attain- 
ments & celebrity. The Boys wait on themselves, make 
their own beds & bring in their own Water & Fuel. 
Each has a tin water pitcher. Basin & Cup, & a Fa- 
tigue over cover with sleeves, homespun cloth, to save 
their dresses. At Table there are waiters in the same 
frocks to attend. They learn musick & receive clothing 
& education in every branch for their services. They 
are the sons of decent poor parents, well behaved, & not 
allowed to be insulted. I think there are 12. Cap* 
Partridge advertised his condition, & 60 offered. I shall 
send the only prospectus I c*^ procure. A new set is to 
be published in November with the names & countries of 
all the cadets, of w" I will forward a doz. copies for 
distribution among y"" enquiring friends. From all that I 
have seen & heard, I feel no hesitation at all in con- 
gratulating you on the selection of this Academy, w^ 
possesses so many advantages. The discipline is alto- 
gether military & very strict. About a month since 
when Cap* Partridge had gone to Hartford, a riot oc- 

27 Joseph Barratt, M. D. 


curred. Some low lived along shore grown lads came 
up to the Academy, ct commenced Blackguarding the 
Cadets. Instead of despising them, some oi the oldest 
began to club them cV: called for their comrades. The 
fray was resented cV: a gang of sailors cN:c. collected to 
fight the Cadets with bludgeons. Happily however the 
authority of the city interfered «t peace was restored. 
But as the Cadets provoked the riot. 2 of them (Caro- 
linians) were summarily dismissed. When we were 
there, another young man was dismissed for intoxica- 
tion. He also was from Carolina. & it was not his first 
transgression. Cap^ Partridge says that he has a great 
deal of trouble with the sons of the C[arolinal planters. 
Brought up in idleness they submit to subordination 
ver^- reluctantly. With the young Cadets, he has no 
trouble, they are tractable cV obedient, esp^ our own. 
Cap' P. is a resolute determined man. a great disci- 
plinarian. Fatherly in his treatment, but must be 
obeyed. The improvements are not yet completed. 
When the fences are erected, ct Guard houses built, now 
in hand. & will be finished before winter. His control 
will be greater «i: the Cadets more restricted. The ca- 
pacity of the domain. 16 acres, admits of space for am- 
ple exercise without going oS" the premises. In the rear 
a large garden is to be laid out to instruct the Cadets 
in horticulture. I have, in some detail, given a fair 
description of an Institution that pleases me much, hav- 
iDg as you know, no inducement for false colouring. 
I consider it a duty to Cap*' P. naught to extenuate, nor 
aught set down in malice. If his life be spared, the 
numbers will double in a few years «J: another wing be 
required. He can now accommodate about 300. 

Sat^ 22^ Oct ... I shaU refer the Cadets to Cap* 
Partridge, who wiQ supply all their necessary* wants. 
Poor Boys, they begin to be pinched with the early 
frost. 'Si- 5er^-oss will sail in the Louisiana on the 1^ 
bv w"^ I shall send vour Firkin of Butter & a Box with 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 193 

some articles for New Year. Our preparations for the 
Canal celebration are active & will be splendid. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship Louisiana 

New York, Monday, 24*'' Octo', 1825 

.... I have just been round to Stickler the grocer, 
to put up your New Year comforts, of w'' I will inclose 
a list, (few''! hope will come safe to hand to afford you 
a regale with Uncle Servoss on New Years. 

Wed^ 26**^. The day that the waters are let in the 
G^ Canal at Lake Erie & the navigation to commence 
throughout the whole line. Suitable preparations are 
making to celebrate this great event. 

.... I was, for the first time that I can recollect 
obliged to leave my office yest^, on account of indis- 
position. A violent cold with an invincible torpor. I 
took medicine instantly, & am thank God well this morn^ 
at my post. How much I am favoured with these occa- 
sional attacks, to teach me that I am mortal. I c'^ not 
attend in the afternoon a meeting of the merchants to 
appoint a deputation to go to Albany next week, to meet 
the Canal Boats and the several Committees appointed, 
between Buffalo & Albany, to attend the celebration on 
the 4*^. I learn that I am nominated & altho' I feel 
a great desire to go, still I am apprehensive that I can- 
not. My office duties press, M"" Servoss is to sail on the 
P*, the B[ible] S[ociety] meet the 3**. All are serious 
obstacles to my going. 

Capt. Holmes informs me that the Crawford w*" 
sailed 23*^ Sepf was driven in a Gale on the Bahama 
Banks, & has gone to peices, letter bag probably & all. 
I wrote by her, inclosing letters from y"" dear boys, w^ 
are lost no doubt, also the Tub of Butter, selected & 
put up with great care, a parcel of Books &c., the last 
Waverley, I think, & above [all] Dear Larneys Buck & 
Saw the greatest loss of the whole, but w" I shall replace 


if one is to be had in the city, as his brothers were quite 
interested to send him a present. ... It is to be hoped 
that the passengers are saved. M' Elliot, who took a 
great fancy to Marney, was on board. The cargo was 
very valuable estimated about $150,000. The am* of 
Insur[anc]e in our offices in this city is $125,000, a heavy 
drawback on their very low profits. 

Friday, 28*\ Yest^ a horrid N. E. day I was obliged 
to attend as a witness in court, where I sat exposed 
to the chilling air of a large room & draft of a door, 
constantly on the swing for 5 hours & have increased my 
cold & hoarseness very much. I have the prospect of 
being sent for again this day. Our folk have been quite 
in the gay world this week, on Tuesday ev^, at M""^ 
Schencks, Wed^ M" Wadworth & last ev^ at Julia Weeks. 
I plead my privilege of old age, as M"" Servoss was here 
to escort the ladies, & did not go. . . . 

2 o'clock. I am in a most painful state of inde- 
cision about going to Albany. While all classes of our 
mechanic fellow citizens are exerting themselves to the 
utmost, to give splendor to the approaching celebration, 
the merchants, who originated the project, are shame- 
fully supine, & take no more concern than if they had 
not the most remote interest. Even the Committee of 
8, nominated to go to Albany, are declining, & myself 
the least, & most office bound of the whole, am im- 
portuned to leave all standing & go on Tuesday next. 
I must decide yea or nay on Monday morn^. M"" Bayard 
Pres* of the Chamber of Commerce, is prevented by 
acute indisposition, the gravel, w*" almost prostrates him. 
As Sec^, I have a little, very little relative rank in the 
commercial community, otherwise my insignificance, w** 
none can reproach me with more than I feel, ought to 
keep me at home. But having assisted in the first stage 
of this great work, when all was doubt, except to a few 
comprehensive, enlightened minds, I feel urged to par- 
ticipate in the honours of its happy completion, and to 
tender my personal congratulations to Gov"" Clinton, to 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 195 

whose genius & perseverance we owe the greatest work 
of internal improvement ever exhibited in the old or 
new world. Were I a man unfettered by office, I c*^ fly 
to Albany on this auspicious occasion. 

Saturday 29*''. We hear as yet nothing more of the 
loss of the Crawford, w*" no doubt is too true, but hope 
that the passengers were saved. The Marine Insur® 
Offices in this city suffer extremely, by unprecedented 
losses this season. Commercial men are very gloomy. 
Every day almost produces failures. M"" J. W. Russell 
has stopped in consequence of being indorser on his 
brothers bills, who it is s*^ must stop also. How happy 
I am that M' S[ervoss] escapes, altho' probably he will 
be a loser by the numerous failures anticipated in y"" 
city. The value of the Doctors Infirmary will rise in 
your estimation, as tho' small the profits compared with 
speculation, the risks are small also. I hope it continues 
to be profitable. M" S. will take for you patterns of 
gowns for Mother & daughters selected by Sister. 

Monday 3P* Oct. My cold continues so obstinate 
that I must forego the pleasure of proceeding to Albany, 
w*" w*^ have afforded me the highest gratification. We 
have news from the Crawford, wrecked on the P*, & 
whose passengers & crew were all taken off alive on the 
6^^ by the Boston packet & arrived please God safe at 
N. 0. by whom you will have learned the loss of y"" 
Butter. . . . 

Tuesday 1^* Nov. A most elegant day, wind S. will 
not permit I apprehend, the Louisiana to sail at 12. 
M"" S. is all ready & will be down at that hour. The 
subject of our future residence is to be decided between 
Mama & Sister. Whatever that may be, please God it 
will be for the best. In case of living together Mother 
& myself are to be as boarders, so that the awkward- 
ness of 2 heads & 2 mistresses will be avoided, as is just. 
I think we may live happy together. For myself, my 
own comfort will be consulted in this arrangem* & if 
mother & daughter can harmonize, there can be no pos- 


sible diflBcult[y] between M' S. & myself. In this case 
it will be in my power to retire, by the time our Cadets 
education is completed, from my active duties, & if 
spared conduct them home to their parents, & make one 
visit to my beloved daughter Davidson & family before 
my race is run. 

Wed^ 2^ Nov' 81/2 a. m. Delightful day, Wind west- 
erly, the Louisiana sails at 10. I shall meet M'" Servoss 
at Whitehall to take leave as he steps aboard the Nau- 
tilus. ... As I came down BVay I procured a nice 
little cheese, to regale my beloved daughter & family. 
By the Galaxy, to sail this p. m. or tomorrow I shall 
drop a line to inform of the departure of M"" S. 
[Addressed by:] Ship Louisiana 

with sundries 

New York, Thurs^ 3^ Nov'", 1825 

Yesf at about 11, M"" Servoss sailed in the Louisiana, 
with a fair & fresh wind, w*" I thought w*^ have carried 
the Ship to Bahama, but the wind has changed to S" & 
it is quite pleasant. I hope it may continue so thro' 
tomorrow, the G*^ Canal celebration day, for w'' the 
greatest preparations are making ever yet exhibited in 
this city of public exhibitions. . . . 

Sat^ 5*". A more glorious day or splendid scene, 
than that presented yest^, in the city & harbour of N 
York, has never been exhibited or surpassed in the old 
or new world. Fortunately I obtained admission for 
our ladies on b** the safety barge Lady Clinton, deco- 
rated as a floating Bower & filled with Ladies. She 
looked more like a fairy vision than reality. I have 
written to M"" Servoss this morn^ inclosing a paper giving 
a good sketch of the exhibition of the memorablo 4*'' 
Nov' the celebration of the completion of the Erie 
Canal. The day was superb, mild as May, & the waters 
calm & serene as the sky that smiled propitiously on us. 
Happy America, happy N York. We stand unrivalled 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 197 

as a nation, & as a state and city. The influx of visitors 
was incredible. It is supposed by good estimation that 
probably 20,000 people poured in from all directions. 
The Corporation did honour to our city by their liberal 
& excellent provisions & accommod[ation]s on the occa- 
sion, probably the steamboats engaged for the guests, 
contained nearly 1000 Ladies & Gentlemen. Every thing 
was excellent & abundant. On board the Washington 
were 300 persons. I shall not attempt what w*^ be but 
a feeble expression of my feelings, esp^ when I reflected 
that 6 mo [nth] s ago when I gave the first note of prepa- 
ration, that it was scouted as impracticable. But thank 
God we have succeeded & that most nobly. Governor 
Clinton was Lord Paramount of the day, & received the 
congratulations of his fellow citizens of all classes with 
modesty & dignity. He has richly earned his laurels & 
will go down to posterity as the great Benefactor of the 
State of New York & of the U States, for our example 
will pervade the Union. 

Tuesday [November] 8*\ I find that the Ship Emu- 
lous is to sail tomorrow by w** I will forward this, on 
the IS**" the American is to sail. Cap* Rathbone of 
the Crawford has arrived from Havana. He is to return 
immed^, with a ship & take in the Cargo of the Craw- 
ford & proceed to N[ew] 0[rleans], & to fit out the 
Crawford with Jury masts to send her back to N. Y. on 
account of the underwriters. The letter bag I under- 
stand was taken on by IVi"" Hutton. I presume y' Butter 
as being last put on was cast overboard. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Emulous 

New York, Friday IP^ Nov^ 1825. 1 P. M. 

. . . Yest^ morn^ I called to pay my respects to Gov"" 
Clinton, whom I am always happy to greet as a friend, 
& the great Benefactor of our State. He is very popu- 
lar at present, & very circumspect. As he is constantly 


engaged at dinner & ev^ parties, I have no chance of 
seeing him at home. Not that he w*^ think us too ob- 
scure. I know otherwise. But a political character must 
bow to those whose favour is essential to his career. 
I hope yet to see him Pres* of the U S. He w'' signalize 
himself as much at the head of the Union as of our 
State, for his substantial talents & experience will sus- 
tain him in any station. I expect to meet him at the 
Free School this P. M., 4, when if I can get at him, I 
will ask him to take coffee with us on Sunday aft. noon 
w" w'^ gratify our folks highly. My slavish life, con- 
fined at those hours when it is proper to wait on gen- 
tlemen, combined with my increasing deafness almost 
entirely excludes me from social intercourse. . . . You 
may judge of my confinement & intense application at 
this juncture by the following fact. Yest^ at noon, the 
variety of articles brought down in the Canal Boats 
at the celebration, were sold at the Coffee House. A 
large assemblage to view & bid. Flags flying &c''. I 
never knew any thing of the circumstance till I saw it 
in the morn^ papers altho' I sh*^ like to have bo* some 
little article as a remembrancer. This day, for instance 
I have been at my desk, till now 2i/^ I must break off to 
go home to a hasty dinner, be at the Free School at 4, 
at the Stand^ Com[mitte]e at 5, & trudge back at 6. 
There is no peace for the wicked saith the Lord ! I fear 
I am very bad. 

Sat^ [November] 12*''. ... I wish sometimes that I 
c*^ write down the reflections w^ are poured forth in 
convers[atio]n. It was but this morn^ in my office that 
I had occasion to remark on the progressive improve- 
ment in the moral character of this city. As instances, 
that notwithstanding the innumerable concourse of sea- 
faring men & strangers, Riots on our wharves very sel- 
dom occur. On the late celebration, what multitudes 
were collected in the Battery & thro' our Streets. Ladies 
& children passed uninterrupted & unoffended by any 
indelicate expressions. Intoxication among the very 
dregs of the rabble was not seen. It was remar[k]ed 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 199 

by the Committees from the West, in their Address to 
our Corporation, w*" you will see in print, that this par- 
ticular circumstance afforded them pleasure. Indeed it 
is astonishing even to myself who looked at the great 
masses of spectators, collected from all quarters, many 
utter strangers that it appeared more like Sunday, than 
a. Festival day. The citizens in procession were expected 
to behave orderly. But the throng in the streets gazed 
in silent admiration as the societies marched along. Such 
was their number, that altho' formed 6 abreast, the Line 
of procession took up an hour & a half to pass the corner 
of Pearl Street & Wall St. by the watch of an intelli- 
gent observer. Does not this flattering circumstance do 
honour to our city, its Magistrates Police & benevolent 
Institutions. What have we not to expect from the 
rising generation favoured with so many advantages of 
education, from our Universities, Colleges, & Academies 
Military &c. down to our humble Free & Sunday Schools. 
With my good friend & once invaluable fellow citizen 
& philanthropist, I am confirmed in the belief that the 
world is growing better. I sincerely hope that you find 
it so at N. Orleans. 

Tuesday, [November] IS**" 

There was a row at the Theatre last ev^, Keans first 
appearance. He was not permitted to go on, & will I 
hope have to abandon. It is shameful to obtrude him 
on the Am. Boards after his former behaviour in Bos- 
ton & this city, & his licentious conduct in England, 
He was supported only by his countrymen & some of our 
wealthy citizens who are above vulgar prejudices, but 
who I trust will not be permitted to insult public opin- 
ion. No ladies of any note were present. I attended 
Professor Mores -^ address to the TheoP Sem'' in Christ 
Church last ev^. The streets being damp Mama & Sister 
c^ not go, but thro' me sent their contributions towards 
the relief of necessitous students. No burthensome tax 

28 Clement C. Moore's A Lecture Introductory to the Course of 
Hebrew Instruction in the General Theological Seminary, printed at 
New York, 1825. 


if every Episcopalian w** do their duty. The audience 
was numerous for us, composed of the middling classes. 
The higher are above these objects. Not a single ac- 
quaintance did I see from the lower parts of the 
city. . . . 

Your friend M'* Chew must have been delighted with 
the improvement & manly behaviour of Beverly. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship American 

New York, Thur^ l?*'^ Nov^ 1825 

The American has been detained by foul weather & 
head winds & is still in port. This is intended to go by 
the Ship Niagara, unless some other vessel sh*^ sail be- 
fore her. . . . 

Sat^ 19*". Quite cold. The American I presume 
sailed yest^, as the weather cleared off with a stout N. 
Wester w'' blew a gale. This being the day for the meet- 
ing of my Directors I cannot step to Cap* Holmes to 
know. The exhibit of the state of my ofi&ce was a fair 
& favourable one. But unluckily we have sustained a 
very heavy loss about $11,000, the largest single loss 
we have ever met with. It was the House & stock in 
trade of a M"" Prentiss in B'^way, the most extensive per- 
fumery store in this city. It broke out at 5 this morn^. 
The family escaped out of the upper windows, the Fire 
breaking out in the store & all in a blaze before discov- 
ered. Nothing is saved except the Walls, not worth 
the taking down. As bad luck will have it, my adjutant 
Andrew [Warner] is obliged to attend the hanging of 
Reynolds this morn^, a worse than idle military parade, 
as tho' the civil authority must depend on the militia 
for support. . . . 

Monday [November] 2P*. Variable March weather. 
The American, from some circumstance has been de- 
tained till Wed^. M*" Schenck called to say that an ac- 
quaintance is to go in her & will take letters for M' 
S[ervoss]. I shall inclose this, with a Connec* paper 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 201 

& the Ev^ Post of Sat^, giving an ace* of the march of 
the Cadets to Hartford. I presume that our Younkers 
were not in the Batallion, & to their grief were obliged 
to tarry at Middletown until their legs are grown. . . . 
Tuesday [November] 22*^. I shall inclose this under 
cover to M"" Servoss ... & send the Ev^ Post containing 
the cadets march & a pamphlet of Reynolds execu- 
tion. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship American 

Care of M"" Servoss 

with 3 newspapers 

New York, Wed^ 23*^ Novem^ 1825 

By the American, intended to sail this day, I wrote 
to my beloved daughter a 2^ letter inclosing newspapers 
containing an acc^ of the Cadets march to Hartford, 
with their address to & answer of the Washington Col- 
lege students, both w" were probably prepared by the 
Professors. Washington College ^^ is an Institution re- 
cently established, under what may be called the dis- 
senting interest of Connec* cheifly under Episcopal con- 
trol. It is too long a story for narration, and I regret 
that the want of more liberality in the govern* of Yale 
College, afforded pretext for setting up a rival Institu- 
tion, as my decided opinion is, better have one well sup- 
ported Seminary than two weak ones. Mais c'est ne pas 
mon affaire. I wrote to the Cadets yest^ by M"' Dwight, 
& shall have another oppo[rtunity] on Saturday, by 
M"" Irving, brother of Washington Irving, who takes up 
two of his sons ^" to place in this flourishing attractive 
academy. I am resorted to very much for my opinion, 
as in the present instance, for w^ I can only appeal to 
my conduct in selecting this institution for my g'^sons 
who have come a great way for their education. I hope 
to hear from them by return of M"" Dwight. . . . 

29 Now Trinity College. 

30 William and Sanders Irving, sons of Ebenezer Irving. Dodge and 
Ellis, Norwich University, II, 148; III, 559, 622. 


Friday 25^" Nov^ An elegant anniversary of the 
evacuation of this city by the British in 1783. Never 
can I forget the joyful event w^ consummated our In- 
dependence. There is as usual a great military parade 
on the occasion. But I am tied down & cannot view it. 
Yest^ was Thanksgiving day, in this, & by accord, of all 
the Eastern States excepting Vermont. A good old N. 
England practice from the first settlement by the Pil- 
grims. The satisfaction of the day was enhanced by rec* 
of my beloved daughters letter by mail of 24"' Oct^ It 
pleased me to hear that dear Larneys Buck & saw 
escaped the shipwreck, & I feel obliged to the gentleman 
who kindly rescued it, as being a token of his dear 
brothers love & attention. . . . Your good friend M" 
Wederstrand is very kind to y"" children. Eliza must or 
ought to improve very much in the society & conversa- 
tion of this accomplished Lady. . . . 

My man Andrew now Adjutant Warner, is on mili- 
tary duty this day & I have had to attend to his & my 
own business likewise. He is a fine youth of great 
abilities & promise, if I can keep him straight for a year 
or two. He has no bad propensities & takes great in- 
terest in the Cadets. 

Monday [November] 28'''. I have letters from my 
g'^sons & godson by w*" it appears that Cap* P[artridge] 
has taken Marsden into his room w'' has admitted young 
Marston in his place. This no doubt is best. There 
are 3 other Cadets who room with the Cap*. I shall 
counsult g'^mama about Pintards coming home at Christ- 
mas. If the permission sh*^ not occasion any heart- 
burning with Marney & Thomas I sh"^ like it very much, 
for I long to see my namesake, besides it w*^ enable 
me [to slupply any little wants that the Cadets may 
fancy. . . . You will see by P's letter that Cap* P. main- 
tains the most rigid discipline, w'' must redound to the 
credit of the Institution. It is talked already to build 
another wing to the Academy next year, the number of 
applications for admittance exceeding the accommoda- 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 203 

tions. I may learn from M"" Irving tomorrow his opin- 
ion w" I anticipate will confirm my own. On marching 
into Hartford, Cap* P. informed the Batallion that when 
the order for dressing to the right was given, that he w*^ 
dismiss the first Cadet who sh^ cast his eye to the left. 
Not a head was moved & they marched thro' the city like 
a Veteran Corps, & all admired the effect of discipline 
in so short a time since the organization of the Academy. 
Nothing was ever seen in Hartford, where they have sev- 
eral uniform companies that c'^ equal the movements & 
maneuvres of the Cadets. I have every confidence that 
the academical exercises are equally exact, & that I shall 
return your sons elegant & accomplished young men. 

Tuesday, [November] 29"\ 12 o'clock. I have been 
all the morning writing to the Cadets, to go by M'^ 
Sebor,^^ an aunt of Marston, by whom I send a parcel 
of cookies. I understand they had a grand blow out on 
the 24**", Thanksgiving Day, w^ was very fine. A Re- 
view & pumpkin pies in any quantity. . . . The Cadets 
will probably make another display on Friday or Sat- 
urday, to pay military honours to the remains of Com- 
modore M^'Donough, who died of consumption on his 
passage home from the cMneditteranean. He resided in 
Middletown, Con* and lost his wife ^- last summer, the 
daughter of M""^ Shaler, formerly Miss Denning the 
youthful companion of y"" Mother. Our Corporation in 
consideration of the eminent services rendered by Comm° 
M'^D. in the naval action of Lake Champlain, during 
the last war to the U. S. in general & this State in par- 
ticular, has resolved [to] show due military honour to 
the memory of this Naval Hero, who has prematurely 
died, without the least imputation to blemish his very 
[word omitted in MS.] character. 

Our weather this month has been uncommonly fine. 
Yest^ & this day are actual May days. 

31 Mrs. Jacob Sebor (Elizabeth Winthrop). [R. C. Winthrop, Jr.], 
A Short Account of the Winthrop Family (1887), pp. 577-78. 

32 Mrs. Thomas Macdonough (Lucy Ann Shaler) was the daughter 
of Nathaniel and Lucretia Ann (Denning) Shaler. Rodney Macdon- 
ough, The Macdonough-Hackstajf Ancestry (1901), pp. 18, 88-89. 


Wed^ 30*^. It is showery this day & mild. I hope 
that rain will not interfere with the Funeral procession, 
w*" is to take place tomorrow & will pass our door in 
B'^way so that our folks will have a sight, a rare circum- 
stance as we live above the usual line of march. No 
doubt this long parade from the City Hall up B'^way 
thro Great Jones Street is intended as a compliment to 
M'"^ Clinton who resides in that St[reet]. 

[Addressed by:] Ship Niagara 

New York, Thurs^ V Dec, 1825. 3 p. m. 

The dense humid foggy day will prevent the Niagara 
from sailing, it is also unfavourable to the ceremonial 
obsequies of Com[modore] M'^Donough, w'' our Corpo- 
ration, much to their honour, have ordered with every 
honour civil & military. Had the weather been favour- 
able, the procession, as a Funeral one, w*^ probably have 
equalled that of Gen. Hamilton in 1804. Sic transit 
Gloria Mundi. Tomorrow the same rites will take place 
at Middletown the residence of Cap* M, and our Cadets 
will appear in the military procession, . . . Inclosed will 
be a hasty letter from Pintard rec** this morn^ by M"" 
Irving, who has left his sons, & is much pleased. This 
being my first Dividend day, & balancing my last months 
accounts, I have not had time to call on him. I have 
now to bite a cracker, & go to the A[merican] B[ible] 
S[ociety]. Having to attend at the Savings Bank every 
Friday Sat^ & Monday I shall not be able to dine home 
those days throughout this month. My Secretaryships 
of the A. B. S. & Chamber of Commerce, I shall give up 
next May, if spared, & thus abridge some of my duties 
w" begin to press heavy upon me. . . . 

Saturday, 3*^ Dec^ ... I am much urged with my 
office & Savings Bank duties this month, after w'' I shall 
have a little respite. Yest^ was a very hard day. I ate 
my cracker & apple (my dinner) walking up to the S. 
Bank, & returned home at 7, as alert as tho' I had passed 


an ordinary day. My uptown residence has wonderfully 
improved my health, as exercise has restored my walk- 
ing. . . . Yesterday my little namesake cut his first 
tooth, w*" he has done. 

Wed^ 7th Dec"". . . . Tho' the days are short, by rising 
early, as light, I get along very well. Mama & Sister 
breakfast with me, a comfort esp^ on those days that I 
do not dine at home. They are both regularly down 
at 8, w*' is very well, & I am enabled to get to my ofl&ce 
by 9, when I keep fully occupied till 3, get home when I 
do go at 1/2 p[ast] & dine at 4, shortly after w"" it is twi- 

Friday [December] 9^'' . . . 21/0 p. m. This being 
one of my Savings Bank days I take my cracker & apple 
at the office. M"" Marston had written to Cap* Partridge 
asking a furlough for his son to come home at Xmas, in 
w'' case Pintard was to accompany him. But Cap* has 
answered that the applications for similar favours are 
so numerous that he is constrained to adhere to his rules 
& to refuse them all. With this decision I fully acqui- 
esce. Cap* P. says that at the close of winter he pur- 
poses visiting this city & will bring all the New York 
boys with him. . . . 
[Addressed by : ] Ship La Fayette 

New York, Thur^ 15*^ Dec^ 1825 

My last to my beloved daughter of 12*'' inst. was by 
the Ship La Fayette w^ sailed on that day with a violent 
N. W that so totally changed the state of our season, 
as to bring on the severest cold on Tuesday, experienced 
in many years. Therm" as low as 2 above zero in the 
course of that day. The weather is now more temperate. 
The Frances hourly expected must have been blown off 
the coast. The Azelia is reported below, in a short pas- 
sage. This is intended for the Chancellor to sail next 
week. Never has poor devil been more driven than y"" 
Father since this month came in. . . . No sooner had I 


despatched y"" packet than I began my letter to the Ca- 
dets to go with their Ax, Brushes, & parcel of New Year 
Cookies by Judge Irving, who was to have proceeded on 
Tuesday to take his son Washington to the Academy. 
But alas! the Steam Boat w^ had been frozen up at 
Hartford, did not come down, so that he was prevented 
and the Boys disappointed. He may go in January, as 
he is on the Bench, for a fortnight commencing next 
Monday. I wrote to them yest'' to have patience under 
their disappointment. By the inclosed of the 11*^ you 
will see that they are all well, & in want of some niceties 
poor fellow, with some articles of furniture to embellish 
their room, w*" I understand is the neatest in the Acad- 
emy. . . . You see that Thomas knows how to wheedle 
his g[o]dfather, the cunning rogue. He is a noble fine 

Sat^ [December] 17*". After an uncommon drought, 
the housekeepers of our city are favoured with a power- 
ful rain to replenish their exhausted cisterns. Your care- 
ful mothers prudence has secured ours from being 
drained to the last drop. It is in vain for me to depend 
on the carriage that plies in our street, so that I come 
down afoot, fair day or foul day, without injury thank 
God to my health. 

Monday [December] 19*". The Frances has arrived 
with dates to 23*^ Ult° our letters (10 o'clock) are not yet 
delivered. As the sailing of the Chancellor is deferred to 
Sat[urda]y next, I will send this line by the Russell to 
sail tomorrow, weather permitting, w" I hardly think 
probable, as it looks like an impending snow storm. The 
weather not being favourable yest[erda]y, I staid home, 
actually to get a little repose after a very hard weeks 
application. My hearing moreover is so bad that I have 
no benefit of clergy, so that as to sermons I rather am 
a gainer in reading the excellent Discourses in my pos- 
session. This indulgence has reinvigorated me. I feel 
some hope that the hearing of my right, the most im- 
perfect ear, is somewhat improving by the persevering 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 207 

application of Bear's Oil, w^ I shall continue thro' the 
winter to prove its efficacy. I may, please God, find 
partial relief, but I fear my age is too advanced to admit 
of effectual remedy. 

2 o'clock. Obliged to attend a meeting at 12 o'clock, 
at the City Hall of the Trustees of the Sailors' Snug 
Harbour, I did not get back till this moment, when I 
found, as expected, a letter from M"" Servoss for y"" sister, 
w" I immed[iatel]y despatched to her. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Russell 

New York, Tuesday, 20*'> Dec^ 1825 

. . . Sh^ the La Fayette that sailed on 12*'' inst., with 
a powerful N. Wester have arrived safe, my beloved 
Turtle Dove will have rec** thro' Uncle Servoss, her pretty 
workstand & sec[retar]y, in fulfilment of my promise. 
She expressed a wish to have something to remember 
her g'^father & I am persuaded that this present will 
please her. It was delayed by the cabinetmaker beyond 
my expectation ... It was made as nearly like her 
dear Sisters as the material, w'' is scarce, c*^ be procured. 
At any rate my three eldest goddaughters will have been 
presented with their beautiful Bibles, thro' Uncle Ser- 
voss. . . . You also my dear daughter will for once on 
this occasion be remembered, as I desired M'' S. to send 
you Sisters Book case, in case he concluded to sell his 
furniture, w** I see by his letter he meant to do. I can 
replace it, and the gift will serve to remind you of your 
dear Sisters transient abode in N[ew] 0[rleans]. That 
M"" S. has escaped the disasters that have prostrated so 
many both in y^ city & this, is a circumstance for w^ I 
cannot be too grateful. 

The city of Philadelphia from its restricted com- 
merce, has escaped the Cotton Fever. The only failure is 
one of magnitude that of M" Thompson the great Tea 
merchant, attended with circumstances that implicate 


his moral character. To the public prints I refer for par- 
ticulars on w^ no generous mind w*^ wish to dwell. There 
is a circumstance attended with this failure of a family- 
concern. Young Thompson, ^^ son of the former, who 
had gone several times to Canton as Supercargo, & had 
acquired a handsome fortune, was engaged to Miss Annis 
Stockton, & were to have been married this month, & 
to have passed a gay winter at Washington. As we have 
seen nothing announced, it is possible that the event 
is postponed in consequence of the Fathers failure. M' 
T. Jun'" was to have increased the very pleasant family 
circle at Princeton, by building & residing there next 
year. . . . 

Wed^ [December] 2V\ S' Thomas' day, the shortest 
of the year. Henceforward I shall progressively get a 
little more morning, for it is next to impossible almost 
to breakfast at 8, w** esp'' when I have to market, brings 
me late to my office. . . . 

Thur^ 22"^. With every appearance of snow at 7, it is 
now at 10 clearing off with a fine sunshine & mild, w*" 
may induce Mother & daughter to take a walk. Yest^ 
was devoted to mince pye making, and I thot you might 
be engaged in the same duty. Sister says that yours 
were excellent last year. Do not add to nor diminish 
from our family receipt w^ has been experienced for more 
than a century. Nothing sh*^ preponderate nor fall short, 
as every thing depends on those exact proportions to 
give the proper, w" have been the result of practice & 

Friday 23*^. . . . The mail intelligence is that the 
Senate has confirmed M"" King's appointment as Minis- 
ter to G. Britain without a division. Tho no Adamite 
I am glad, as it w"^ have been ungracious to have op- 
posed the President at the very threshhold of his ad- 
ministration. Besides M"" King is eminently qualified to 

33 John Renshaw Thomson (later a United States Senator), married 
Annis Stockton, daughter of Richard and Mary (Field) Stockton. T. C. 
Stockton, The Stockton Family (1911), p. 130. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 209 

fulfil the particular objects of his embassy, to settle some 
disputable points between the two countries. Herewith 
I send a card containing the Terms & Course of Instruc- 
tion of our new Female High School w^ will surprize 
you, in y"" dear Country. Altho' I am withdrawing from 
new assumptions of duty, I keep my attention alive to 
all the improvements going on in our rapidly increasing 
city. Having contributed what was in the power of my 
feeble talents & means, it is with pleasure that I see more 
efficient philanthropists appearing on the stage, to sup- 
ply the vacancies caused by resignations & deaths of 
their older fellow citizens who have been the pioneers 
that have toiled to leave them a goodly heritage. By 
the way I hear nothing of a chance to supply a teacher 
for your male Assylum. The dread of your climate for 
constant residence, has hitherto appeared insuperable. 
M' Gardiner left the documents sent to him with me 
some while ago, & has never called to enquire ab* the 
result of my enquiries. I have done all in my power, 
but hitherto to no purpose. M'" Weeks has just called 
in to say that y"" cousin John Brasher stands this cold 
better than c"^ be expected. I hope he may outlive this 
winter, in w" case he may be induced to travel to the S" 
of Europe & recover his health. Wonders have been 
the result to many [of] our hectic folks, & why sh*^ he 
not benefit. 

Sat^ [December] 24*^ . . . M"" Thompson, of whom 
I spoke before, in attempting to sail for Liverpool, was 
arrested this week at New Castle & brought back. This 
circumstance aggravates his unfortunate case. How 
mutable are mercantile prospects, & how grateful I am, 
w^ I am always repeating to y'' dear sister, that M*" 
S[ervoss] is safe. She is quite domestic this winter as 
is prudent. No play, no operas that fascinate our gen- 
try. By the way Kean has been hooted with a dreadful 
riot from the Boston Theatre. Thank God Vice is not 
everywhere triumphant. 


New York, Monday 26*^ Dec, 1825. 10 o'clock 

I came from home as early as I c*^ get my breakfast 
at 8, in order to stop at the Savings Bank, to bring down 
our money rec'^ Friday & Sat^ afternoons to the Me- 
chanic Bank, which is the personal duty of every Trustee 
who attends on the Monthly Committee. . . . 

Yest^ an approaching rain prevented Mama & Sisters 
going to Grace Church, to attend the Sacrament, w" I 
regret. I went to S^ Esprit which is a fair weather con- 
gregation. But nearly all our few Communicants were 
present. ... At Xmas, Easter, & Advent, I always en- 
deavour to read the Meditations in the Weekly prepa- 
ration both before & after Communion, from w" I hope 
I derive much benefit, certainly an increase of Faith, & 
Xt° hope & humility. My devotional feelings were par- 
ticularly solemnized yest^. I have told you that my 
French minister is about leaving us to return next Spring 
to his native Switzerland. I felt therefore as I ought 
on receiving the Consecrated Elements of the Lords Sup- 
per, for the last Xmas at his hands, possibly for the last 
Xmas of my life. I trust that the highest affections of 
my heart responded the Holy Act that I was performing. 
Indeed I felt overpowered, & had much to do to restrain 
myself when after the service was over, I took M. 
Peineveyre by the hand & most cordially wished him 
health & happiness. . . . 

Tell your good friend M""^ Wederstrandt that it will 
afford me sincere pleasure to befriend her son, when he 
arrives. I shall be too happy to accompany him, if pos- 
sible, to the Academy. 

New York, Wed^ 28*'' Dec, 1825. 2 p. m. 

By the Eliza, Cap* Whelden, I have this morn^ sent 
a line to my beloved daughter Davidson, with a parcel 
containing the forms for Blanc Mange, as you requested 
in y"" letter of 9**" inst. by the Azelia, w** was rec*^ on the 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1825 211 

26*''. The Eliza hauls out in the stream this day to sail, 
wind permiting tomorrow. The wind is now So[uth] & 
it is almost a May day. We have had a very ext[raordi- 
nar]y month, with little or no rain, w" seems to be the 
case on both sides the Alleghany. . . . The Virginia is 
to sail Sat[urda]y or Sunday, by w^ I shall send this 
my last letter for the old year. There is something ap- 
paling in the word last, but why sh*^ an aged Xf" full of 
Hope be appalled. The close of the year naturally in- 
spires sober reflections. We look back on the rapid flight 
of Time, & forward to the short very short term that 
remains of human life, approaching the Scripture limi- 
tation of existence, three score & Ten, and how few are 
spared to see it. . . . 

You read, as is right, a chapter in your Bible to your 
dear children before you say your prayers. Dear Pin- 
tard told me of this. As they now possess their own 
copies, will it not be best, to keep their minds from 
wandering, to let them follow you. This will render 
the daily portion of Scripture more impressive & lasting. 
I will thank you to desire Darling & Turtle Dove to copy 
in their respective Albums, the beautiful verses, begin- 
ning with the 7^^ verse to the close, of the 13*'' Hymn, at 
the end of the Psalms of the Epis[copa]l Church, "Great 
God! &c^. Inscribe it, on the Bible, copied at the re- 
quest of my afi"ect[ionate] G[ran]dfather J. P. and let 
them commit the same to memory, w'' will with the bless- 
ing of God afford them consolation thro' life. Eliza has 
a Common Prayer Book. Dear little Larney, teach him 
to lisp them for g'^pa's sake. We have a beautiful stereo- 
type edition of the pocket Bible, intended to have been 
published for New Year, but this has been retarded. 
When completed I will order a copy, neatly bound, for 
all my g[ran]d children & godson to take to Church, to 
look up the Lessons. You cannot imbue their tender 
minds too early with love & veneration for the Scrip- 
tures. To express my delight & improvement in reading 
my Chapters daily in Scotts Commentary, is impossible. 


Friday [December] 30*''. After putting up & taking 
your parcel to Cap*' Holmes on Wed[nesda]y, before go- 
ing home I had time to reperuse y"" letter requesting 
me to send you the Blanche Mange moulds, when to my 
surprize I found that Queens ware was intended. I felt 
mortified least I sh*^ lose my labour & disappoint you. 
The day, yes[terda]y, portended an Easterly blow & 
snow. I called at a crockery store & procured such 
moulds as I hope will please you, & had them carefully 
packed in a market basket, w^ I took to Cap* H[olmes] 
who promised to put it on b[oar]d the Eliza, with an- 
other letter accounting for my blunder. This day is a 
violent N. E. gale & rain w"" impedes the Brigs sailing. 
This is intended for the Virginia to sail tomorrow, 
weather permitting, or probably Sunday. I have been 
fortunate in my attendance on the Savings Bank, this 
month, but I shall have to wade home this ev[enin]g. 
Tomorrow is my last tour, & I shall wind up the Year 
with well doing. On Sunday, be the weather what it 
may I purpose to commence the New Year with my 
duty to the preserver of my life. On Monday we see our 
friends Aunt Craig & family & M" Talbot, and as cus- 
tomary talk of & remember our dear family at N[ew] 
0[rleans] wishing you all length of days, prosperity, 
health & happiness. 

Sat[urda]y [December] 3P* 

Adieu my beloved daughter. My last duties of the 
old year conclude in writing to you & attending at the 
Savings B[an]k, where yest[erda]y I made my quarterly 
deposits for my g[ran]d children. Their acc[oun]ts 
severally exceed with interest this day $105. Something 
to begin with. . . . 


To Mrs. Richard Davidson (Eliza Noel Pintard) 
of New Orleans 

New York, Tuesday S^ Jan^ 1826 

Friday 6*^". Judge Irving goes up tomorrow, with 
M"" Graham ^ a lawyer to take their sons. Young Astor 
goes also, . . . 

Sat^ [January] 7. Frances not to sail till Tuesday. 
Yest^ Philip Hone Esq. our new Mayor, gave a general 
invit[atio]n to his friends to wait on him, & partake 
of a collation. Never Mayor had so many (trencher) 
friends. It was supposed that between 3 & 5000 par- 
took of his abundant cheer. He is a man of independent 
means & his election gives general satisfaction. 

Miss Stockton was married to M"* Thompson the last of 
Dec^ His father has quite blasted his name & deeply 
injured M"" Steele the Collector of Phila[delphia]. . . . 
Monday [January] 9^^. . . . When I came tripping 
down this foggy morn^ apprized of the arrival of the 
Louisiana, & enjoying in advance the happiest tidings, 
little did I anticipate the unpleasant intelligence of y' 
brothers letter. I have done all in my power to console 
him & have reason from his conclusion & y"" remarks to 
infer that it will not be so bad as M"' Servoss apprehends. 
I regret exceedingly that he takes a loss so much to 
heart. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Frances 

1 Charles Graham, son of Charles Graham, of New York City, was 
a cadet at the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy at 
Middletown, Connecticut, 1826-28. Dodge & Ellis, Norwich University, 
III, 620. 



N York, Wed^ IV" Jan^, 1825 [sic for 1826] 

My last was yesf by the ship Frances, whether she 
has sailed is doubtful. We have most ext[raordinar]y 
weather, warm & dense fogs. The Indiana is up for Sat^ 
14*" by wh[ich] I shall [send] this, however short a 
line. Mother & Sister both wrote by the Frances in 
reply to M' Servoss' too gloomy letter of 2V' Ult° by 
the Louisiana. I have every hope that the loss he ap- 
prehended by the failure of Crommelin & Co. will even- 
tually prove trifling, when compared with the direful 
catastrophes that have overwhehned many of the old- 
est & proudest houses in N[ew] 0[rleans] the last 

Thur^ [January] 12. We have at last got a clear sky 
& not cold. I have been afflicted with a violent cold for 
a few days & last night had a smart fever, but this 
morn [in] g thank God am better. . . . The season of 
looking out for a change of abode is at hand. On the P* 
Feb'' we must decide, being q[uarte]r day. I c*^ wish 
that y' sister w*^ content herself for another year to re- 
main where we are to enable M"" Servoss to choose, as 
he ought his own accommodation. 

Friday [January] 13. I was much indisposed when 
I wrote yest^ with an oppressive cold, & returned home 
early to take a doze of magnesia, w" has relieved me. 
This is a very fine clear day & not cold. Having to 
attend the Savings Bank, this p. m. in place of our new 
Mayor M"" Hone who is engaged, I shall take my cracker, 
w" will assist my depletion, the best remedy for a cold. 
Catarrhs have been very prevalent, even among chil- 
dren. On Thur^ 5^^ the Managers elected the Rev. Jas. 
C. Crane Assis* Sec[retar]y for Dom[estic] correspond- 
ence of the Am[erican] Bible So[ciety] with a Salary 
of $1000. He died yest^ morn^ of a fever arising from 
a violent cold. He is to be interred this aft.noon but 
from my state it w'^ be imprudent to attend. This cir- 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 215 

cumstance throws us all aback to supply a station that 
requires talents & character to supply. I have just rec*^ 
a letter from M"" Bayard, who has no tidings as yet of 
the accouchment of Julia, whose feeble delicate frame 
renders her situation critical. He says that they have 
had a handsome wedding at Morven but not as gay 
as otherwise it w'^ have been but for the misfortune of 
M"" Thompsons father, in w^ the son is no ways impli- 
cated, & is an honourable fine young man. God speed 
the couple. M""^ Bradford at Burlington was very well. 

Sat^ [January] 14. The rain, w'' spoils the skating & 
will probably open Con[necticu]t River, prevents the 
ships sailing. Inclosed is a letter from Marney. He 
writes to his agent like an independent Planter, & very 
well. Do not check his freedom in displaying his wishes 
& wants. . . . The narrative of his march to Hartford 
& return to old Middletown are very good. I am happy 
that M""^ Sigourney^ my very great friend, gave my 
g*^sons quarters. I have spoken of this elegant accom- 
plished lady, the wife of my brother Hugenot, before. 
She is a very sylph, all intellect, about Eliza's size. 

To Samuel Bayard, of Princeton 
New York, Friday 13 Jan^ 1825 [^c for 1826] 

The Message of my friend Gov"" Clinton is a great 
state paper, his best, and an excellent model for simi- 
lar documents. A fair expose of our potent State, its 
grand improvements & resources, without any rhetori- 
cal flourishes, without travelling out of the record or 
meddling with the U. S. In short a plain per- 
spicuous matter of fact communication w"" all can 
understand without the aid of editors or critics. We 
are a wonderful State, & an example to the Union. 

2 Lydia Howard (Huntley) Sigourney, wife of Charles Sigourney. 
Dictionary, of American Biography, XVII, 155. 


This paper will be very interesting to the friends of 
Freedom in Europe, showing the happy practical re- 
sults of republican gov*^ when wisely administered. 
Esto perpetua be our Motto & indissolible Union our 
polar star. 

Our municipal affairs & benevolent institutions go 
on auspiciously & the child of my old age, like Jacobs 
of old, with suits of various colours, the Savings Bank, 
triumphantly. This with our g* national B[ible] 
S[ociety] will command my undivided affections & serv- 
ice, while life & health endure. 

To Mrs. Davidson 
New York, Tuesday 17*'' Jan^ 1826, 21/2 p. m. 

Wed^ 18*'^ 

It charms me to read that part of your letter describing 
your Blue Stocking Society called a reading class & com- 
posed of congenial minds. Indeed it [is] "a most ra- 
tional instructive method of spending an evening," and 
I trust all the young ladies & gentlemen too will vie to 
excell. . . . 

Yesf" we were made happy by a letter from M"" Bay- 
ard, announcing the safe delivery of his daughter Julia, 
in Virginia, of a fine daughter, to be called after its 
g^'mother Martha, a family name also in the Washington 
family, as the Generals Lady was called Martha. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Azelia 

To Mrs. Davidson 
New York, Friday 20*^ Jan^, 1825 [sic for 1826] 

I had scarcely made up my letters for N. 0. yest^ 
to go by the Azelia, when I rec*^ a letter from my Quaker 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 217 

friend Isaac Collins at Albany, where he attends on the 
Legislature to support the claims of our House of Refuge 
for state patronage, requesting me to write an article 
on the subject for insertion in Noah's Advocate as the 
leading paper among the Democrats in our Senate & 
Assembly. Incapable of rendering personal, & but small 
pecuniary services to our benevolent institutions, my 
pen is put in frequent requisition to write in their favour 
for our public prints. I c'* not well decline a pretty im- 
portunate request, and immed^ set about performing it. 
Happily the subject was familiar, for I have taken great 
interest in an institution that will work, if properly sup- 
ported, greater effects to suppress & eradicate vice as 
well as produce greater moral benefit among juvenil 
offenders, than any plan that human wisdom has hitherto 
devised. It is to appear tomorrow, as the Advocate was 
pre-occupied for this day. I know not how it will read, 
for I have little time or accomodation for lucubrating, 
being obliged to write any articles as I do y"" letters, at 
my desk, with almost momentary interruptions. I am 
sure I have been called off half a doz. times, since be- 
ginning this letter. . . . 

.... My good old Uncles rule was to restrain boys. 
This was easy with me who was always rather a delicate 
than a hearty feeder. But y"" Uncle Marsden was always 
hungry & voracious. I experience the benefit of this 
bringing up in my old days. For instance, I only par- 
took of a single cracker from breakfast at 8 till tea at 
7 yest'', when my good wife prepared a broiled Quail of 
w^ I am very fond, & it was quite sufficient. Indeed I 
c*^ have done with less. My health is all the better for 
this abstemiousness. 

Sat^ [January] 2P*. Always a busy day & (I/2 P 2) 
am clearing out to go home thanking God that tomorrow 
is his holy Day of rest. I had a moment to cast my eye 
over the article in the Advocate, which reads better 
than P expect. The Ho [use] of Refuge begins to be 
trite, so much and so often has been said in its behalf, 
that it was hardly possible to present it in a new light. 


I have said my say & let it go for what it is worth. I 
shall cut it out for y'" perusal. As my faculties decay 
& I cannot expect to discharge much longe[r] the active 
duties in w" I have taken so much delight, I may be 
induced, while my mind thro' the blessing of God shall 
retain its strength, [to] afford the benefit of years & 
experience thro' the press. You can do this effectually, 
said my friend Griscom the other day, & amply compen- 
sate by the exercise of y"" pen for any bodily infirmities. 
One maxim among others w*" I hope to pursue, is, not to 
be weary of well doing. If I can no longer row, I may 
be able to steer the boat. But it has almost always 
been my lot after taking my trick at the helm, to rest 
myself with a spell at the pump. My time has been 
most actively employed since my youth up, & will so 
continue until I lay my head on my last pillow. I can 
speak thus plainly & freely to a beloved daughter, who 
knows that it does not proceed from vanity & who can 
hold up the example of her diligent father to his dear 

I have had to close the week by answering friend 
Collins letter relating to Free Schools &c^ before the Leg- 
islature, so that I go home leaving nothing undone. I 
have been house enquiring also, as we must move, M" 
Lawrence having given me notice that he wants the 
House for his new married daughter Mrs. McVickar. 

Tuesday [January] 24*''. I have been sorely inflicted 
with the Influenza that prevails extensively in this city, as 
it has done far worse in Phil* & Balt[im]o[re]. On Sat- 
urday my right eye became inflamed & was almost closed 
on Sunday, when I remained home & my kind attentive 
Domestic physician, Dear Mother, bathed it with tepid 
water & vinegar, w*" relieved it. Yest'' my duties com- 
pelled my attendance at the office. Thank God I am 
almost restored & so well that altho' it has snowed, the 
first time this season, well cloaked & galooshoed I have 
walked down as usual. I just indite these few lines as 
my official Health Bulletin. What thanks are due to my 
heavenly Father for all his goodness to me. The visita- 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 219 

tions kindly sent to let me know that I am mortal, and 
to prepare for my last solemn summons, have always 
been short & mild. Often do I repeat on these occa- 
sions the 3 first verses of the 4P* Psalm, as in the Com- 
mon Prayer Book, "Blessed is he that considereth the 
poor & needy; the Lord will deliver him in the time of 
trouble. The Lord preserve him & keep him alive, that 
he may be blessed upon earth; and deliver not Thou 
him into the will of his enemies. The Lord comfort him 
when he lieth sick upon his bed ; make Thou all his bed 
in his sickness. Amen." These beautiful verses I had 
printed in letters of Gold, framed & glazed & suspended 
in the Savings Bank, directly after its institution, as I 
believe that I have heretofore mentioned. Long may 
they there remain when I am dead & gone, & produce 
the same happy influence on my successor that I have 
myself experienced. 

Wed'' [January] 25"'. A right olden time winter day, 
clear & cold. My eye is better but the wind pierced 
it as I came down. Yest^ my little namesake was 6 
mo[nths] old, hale & hearty, toujours riant, toujour gai. 
He measures 24 inches & is a remarkably good Babe, 
marches every ev^ to Hartford & helps sing the march 
like a little mocking bird. He is very elastic on his feet 
& plump as a partridge. How favoured has y'" sister 
been. I write to y"" good brother Servoss that after ma- 
ture deliberation & much anxiety on my part I have this 
day concluded a bargain for a very fine 3 storey Brick 
House, Slate roof, only a year built & now well seasoned, 
corner of Broome & Crosby Streets, the next block be- 
low us, w^ he will recollect for $13,000. I write the par- 
ticulars to Mr. S., to w'' I refer, and devoutly pray that 
he may approve the measure. We have been warned by 
our Landlord, M" Lawrence, who wants the house for his 
newly married daughter, M""^ M'^Vickar. Compelled to 
move, the distracting subject has harrassed my mind. 
With all our researches, no house even decent can be 
found below us. Those above are more distant & rents 
as high or higher, for the tide of population sets up very 


fast, the lower parts of the city becoming, with few 
exceptions, uncomfortable for families. The mode of 
doing business among merchants is totally changed & 
active hours are from 10 to 3, 9 is an early hour. Our 
principal merchants are all resorting up B'^way. My 
own opinion is that we have done right, & I sent word 
instantly to Dear Mother & sister & got a reply back 
that they were happy. God grant that this expression 
may be ominous of good & that we may be all happy 
indeed. I must relieve my eye. 

Thur^ [sic for Friday] 27*''. Close applic" to business 
yest^ engrossed all my time. My eye is much better & 
my cold going off. This House affair has agitated my 
mind & excitement has made me a little feverish. The 
content, delight indeed, expressed by Dear Louise & 
Mother's perfect accordance makes me easier & induce 
the hope that Mr. S. will also approve. All my friends 
speak in approbation of the purchase. The site is the 
admiration of all who see it, and the premises all agree 
are worth the price. The arrival of the Niagara will I 
hope bring letters from you & M" S[ervoss]. 

1 o'clock, My beloved daughter & darlings letters are 
rec*^. The overflow of y"" gratitude oppresses me. That 
you & my dear gMaughters are pleased with y"" New 
Years presents is more than compensation for any evil. 
I regret that Eliza's cap was too small, however she can 
wear Mama's fine one. I thank good Uncle for his 
pretty present. Above all I am overwhelmed with grati- 
tude to our heavenly Father that you all enjoy y"" health, 
& that the Doctor is in so prosperous a way. I hope 
that he will be able to realize y"" wishes, so just & nat- 
ural, as to be able to purchase a house for his dear fam- 
ily. Then indeed it will look like indep[end]ence & you 
will not bestow y"" care & labour on other peoples prop- 
erty. I hope he may be able to accomplish this object in 
the course of another year & only wish that he had y' 
good brother's judgment to assist in making a bargain. 
It will be almost too much happiness that both my dear 
& only children sh"^ repose in their own houses in one 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 221 

year. As to making us any returns it is entirely out of 
the question & must not be. Keep all you have got & 
can get to house yourselves, after w'' in return for any 
kind acts to our dear boys that dear Sister may expend, 
a Barrel of y'" beautiful Sugar will be amply acceptable. 
M"" S. has just sent one, so that we shall not require any 
more till this time 12 mo [nth]. About the portrait I 
will endeavour to gratify y"" wish, in lieu of other pres- 
ents. Of this more anon. The Louisiana does not sail 
till Monday, so that I can respire. 

Sat'' [January] 28**'. My late attack is going off and 
my eye sight improves. We have an April Day, after 
severe cold & threatening snow. We are going this P.M. 
to look about a pew in the new Church St. Thomas, a 
few streets above us in BVay. I hope to dispose of mine 
in Grace Church so as to come out even. I was offered 
$500 for my bargain yest^, a proof that no more than a 
fair price, as all my friends say, has been given for the 
House. The adjoining, built at the same time & similar, 
sold yest^ for $13,000, & at least 500 is in favour of my 
purchase. With what anxiety I shall await Mr. Servoss's 
letter in reply to mine by this oppo[rtunity]. Sh'^ he 
disapprove, it will distress me, but I must submit & 
make the best of it. 

Monday SO^"" Jan^ 1826. A snow storm like winter 
setting in. Thank God I was so much better that I at- 
tended my French Church yest^. Tho' the weather was 
very damp & hazy, no relapse has ensued. I walked down 
this morn^ as I shall home. Enclosed is a letter from 
Dear Mother, who is affected, as almost every female is, 
with the prevailing influenza, w^ seems to pervade the 
Atlantic seaboard. No doubt she speaks about the recent 
purchase. I hope that you, my beloved daughter, will 
do all in y"" power, if requisite, to reconcile M"" Servoss to 
what after much deliberation was considered best, as well 
for his interest as our mutual comfort & happiness. You 
can readily judge how delicate I feel least it sh*^ be sup- 
posed that his dear wife & her parents w*^ combine to 


do anything to serve their wishes at his expense. The 
die is cast and I must abide the issue. I know the purity 
of my own intentions. Altho' the weather was un- 
favourable, I felt it a duty to go to church, as my feel- 
ings are always tranquilized by attending to my religious 
Duties. Such is the state of my mind this morning. 
May it prove ominous of good. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Louisiana 
with a package 

New York, Wed^ P* Feb^ 1826 

The Louisiana is still alongside the wharf. The high 
wind, extreme cold & floating ice prevented her sailing. 
Yest^ & also this day the weather mitigates a little, but 
it is really an old time winter spell. 

Thurs'' 2^. Louisiana icebound, a light snow last night 
has moderated the weather. Yest^ I rec*^ the enclosed 
from Cap* Partridge, in w^ you will see the names of 
your fine sons. I am happy that young Morse is not in 
the awful black list. This copy you can give, if you 
please, to y"" friend M" Wederstrandt, as there are 2 
others which I will forward by the Talma, to sail the 
middle of the month. . . . 

Tell M'" S[ervoss] that the value of the house in 
Broome S* is considered very reasonable. M"" Israel told 
me yesf that he c"^ have obtained $1000 more had he 
kept it till 3P* Jan''. The tide of migration sets so fast 
up B'^way & environs that every house is taken as fast 
as a Bill appears, rents not fallen but rather increasing, 
esp^ in New Buildings. Y"" Sister is wonderfully pleased 
with her bargain. 

The House of Refuge Bill has passed triumphantly. 
The Legislature has granted $13,000 toward erecting a 
Building for Females, and the surplus of our Marine 
Hospital Fees, ab* $10,000 a year, to support the insti- 

The Free School Bill has also passed, transferring all 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 223 

our Free Schools, now 7, to the Corporation of this City, 
making all the scholars pay, if only $1 a year & according 
to their ability, to take off the repulsive distinction of 
Charity Scholars. This will extend the blessings of ele- 
mentary education to all ranks & degrees of Society. It 
only remains to animate our Sunday Schools, when this 
city may boast that not a single child will be unpro- 
vided with the means of instruction. 

The Female High School was opened on Tuesday 
P.M. 3P* Jan'', with a very appropriate address from 
Judge Irving, pres*, to a full audience. This school is 
directly in sight of our hoped for new residence, 300 yards 
distant, so that Sister will have a fine chance for school- 
ing her sons & daughters. 


You see how we prosper, & that the spirit of benevo- 
lence is not affected by the times. 
[Addressed by:] Ship Louisiana 

New York, Friday S'^ Feb^ 1825 [sic for 1826] 

The detention of the Louisiana by floating ice en- 
abled me to add another letter to my beloved daughter, 
including 2 copies of Cap*^ Partridge's regulations rec"^ 
P* inst. w^ if rec*^ will serve for y^'self & y"" good friend 
M""^ Wederstrandt. Our late severe cold has gone off 
with dense fog. I c*^ hardly see my way down to the 
office this morn^. It now, 12 o'clock, begins to dissipate 
& 1 hope will clear off with a N. Wester & enable the 
Louisiana, so long detained, to sail tomorrow. . . . 

Sat'' [February] 4*''. A fair day & clear sky after 
the almost impenetrable fog of yest''. The Louisiana (12 
o'clock) has sailed & I hope will arrive safe with my 
very important letter to M'' Servoss. I confess my un- 
easiness lest unadvised & unconsulted he sh*^ feel re- 
luctant to ratify my negotiation. Alas! how easy it w*^ 
once have been to have paid the am* at a moment. But 
let me not retrospect but look forward & hope that M"" S. 
will concur in a measure calculated we hope for mutual 


comfort. To give some idea of rents this season, the 
House in w*" we live at $550 is raised to $600 & the 
taxes, & the meanest 2 storey houses in the lower cross 
streets are set at the same rate. So that notwithstand- 
ing the late times, the influx of migration exceeds the 
houses to be let. Except acting for another, I feel no 
regret at the purchase of the Broome S* House, and dear 
Sister is certain that M"" S. will approve the measure, 
I know that I feel too much solicitude, but this is my 
weak nature. We are all getting thro' the Influenza, vul- 
garly called the Horse Distemper. Never since I knew 
this city has this malady been so universally prevalent, 
indeed the whole length of our seaboard. I hope it may 
not reach you. ... It will require no ext^ effort on 
my part to conduct y"" dear sons home, & if possible thro' 
the Ohio Canal, the long anticipated & once visionary 
hope. Sh*^ I be spared to realize it, I shall not be deemed 
so wild an enthusiast as some of my saturnine friends 
regard me. The Talma is to sail on the IS***, being the 
only vessel now up. . . . 

Monday [February] 6*'' 10 A. M. My beloved daugh- 
ter's letter of 19*" Jan^ is rec*^ by the La Fayette, arrived 
yest^. . . . 

Tuesday 7*^. After tracing the preceding few words, 
I broke off to write a friendly line to Gov"" Clinton as I 
had to thank him for one favour & to ask another, w*" I 
do as seldom as possible, but there are some unfortunate 
cases w'' one cannot resist. At 2 I returned home quite 
indisposed to take a doze of magnesia, w*" has relieved 
me. On Sat^ p. m. another chill attacked me. I kept 
at home, resisting a very friendly invit" to dine with Pro- 
fessor Turner least the acceptance might interfere with 
my attendance at the Communion on Sunday, a duty 
always dear & cheering to me, esp^ for the first time of 
the New Year. Sunday was a heavy humid day. I c*^ 
get no further than Christ Ch[urch]. After service, dur- 
ing w*" a slight snow had fallen, I returned home & altho' 
Dear Mother had a fine pair of ducks for dinner, as she 
always wishes to serve me something nice as Thomas 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 225 

says on Sundays, I took a cup of chocolate, & the same 
yest^. It is now raining & I shall as usual look for a 
plate of Soup. . . . 

Wed^ [February] 8*^ . . . When M" Wederstrandt's 
brother & son come up I shall make an effort to accom- 
pany them to Middletown, for I begin to long to see 
our Cadets, who will have had time to develop. I ex- 
pect much & trust that I shall not be disappointed. 

Thur^ [February] 9*^. I cannot divest my mind of 
solicitude respecting our late purchase. Nor however 
agreeable to y"" dear Sister shall I charge her, be the re- 
sult what it may, as having influenced me in the least. 
I fear least under existing circumstances that her partner 
may possibly think that it was a measure rather to ac- 
commodate the parent than the child. I confess that I 
am too sensitive. It was my secret hope & satisfaction 
that altho' I c** not give my daughters wealth, at least 
that I sh^ not embarrass their husbands with providing 
for our support. Y" sister feels confident of approbation, 
and I hardly dare lisp a sigh, w" might & w*^ distress 
her without availing aught. By the 2P* March I hope 
this state of suspense will be relieved, and however I may 
feel in the interim I shall abide the issue with that firm- 
ness & resignation w*" have sustained me under many a 
bitter trial. Till then let me put my Trust in God that 
all will be ordered for the best and never Despair. 

Friday [February] 10'^. A warm gentle rain. With 
prudence my distemper abates. I almost dread to hear 
of fatal effects from the Influenza in y'" city. The farther 
South, the more violent the symptoms w^ have been 
very violent & fatal at Chiton & in the country, esp'' 
among the blacks, as you may [have] seen in the papers. 
We are looking for the Russell & Chancellor, by w'' I 
hope to receive letters, tho' I fear you are severely taxed 
with writing so frequently. . . . 

Sat^ [February] 11*''. The continued rains prevent 
the sailing of the Niagara until Tuesday, 14:^^, which 
will make the intervals between receiving our letters ap- 


pear long. Yest^ Andrew [Warner] rec*' a letter from 
my namesake w*" is enclosed. It is the best he has writ- 
ten since being at the Academy & proves that if he will 
only give himself a little time for reflection, he will soon 
compose with facility. I often wonder whether Har- 
ney's aptitude will continue. We shall soon see. He is 
a powerful boy & will I trust make a distinguished man. 
His little cousin ^ when he looks intent has much of 
Marney's appearance in the upper part of his counte- 
nance. It is really diverting to see him collect his 
strength & energies when I give him the long roll, pre- 
paratory to his March to Hartford, & when I sing the 
air he springs off on his feet with astonishing elasticity. 
He is muscular & strong as a little Lion, expresses his 
wants with a little grunting, but never cries, always good 
humoured & laughing, ready to come & ready to go with- 
out repugnance. I was just about making up my letters 
when I learned that the departure of the Niagara was 
deferred. The Talma will soon follow the 16*''. Next 
week we may look for the Chancellor. 

Monday [February] 13*''. The delay of the Niagara 
affords me oppo[rtunity] to acknowledge rec* of my 
beloved daughter's letter of 25*" Jan'' by the Rus- 
sell. . . . 

New York, Monday 13*" Feb^ 1826. 2 p. m. 

After despatching my letter of this date to go by the 
Niagara to sail tomorrow, I wrote to our Cadets in order 
to give them the latest news from home, rec*^ in y"" letter 
of 25*" Jan'' by the Russell this morning. Our winter 
at the period you wrote was uncommonly rigid all thro' 
the N° & Eas° parts of the Continent. But our boys do 
not appear to complain of the cold & they have had 
a pretty hard seasoning. If they stand this I hope they 
will be more capable of encountering any severity next 
winter. Understanding their wants, by experience, we 
will supply them seasonably. It will be my wish to keep 

3 John Pintard Servoss. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 227 

them as comfortable as possible, & to indulge them in 
every reasonable satisfaction. In return I have all con- 
fidence that they will endeavour to excell in their studies, 
the sole object of their being sent so far from home & at 
such expense for their Education. I said nothing about 
the Box by the Chancellor, w^ I shall take care of until 
the river opens w'' may be early in March, when I will 
send it by the very first Steam Boat, & altho' late it will 
prove doubly acceptable as coming from home. . . . 

14*'' Feb^. S* Valentine's day, when Birds & Lovers 
choose their mates, better adapted to y" climate than 
ours. Another dense fog detains the Niagara, w^ may 
not sail before the Talma. Sister hopes that y'' good 
brother will be able to accommodate his business so as 
to return in April. His presence w*' be a great relief on 
our Move All Day & without personal labour or fatigue. 
But as please God, this may be a last job & we are going 
into a delectable House, the toil & trouble will be light- 
ened by the prospect & hope of comfort before us. All 
speak well of the House. The Street, site & construction 
are admirable, the Building of the best materials & ap- 
pearance very genteel & sightly. It is the admiration of 
all who have seen it, and all say that the price is fair 
& reasonable. It is a piece of fancy goods, but of such 
quality as will always be in fashion. I fervently pray 
that our procedure may be approved by M"" S[ervoss] , w*" 
will consummate my happiness. I confess my solicitude, 
w"" is incident to my years. But dear Sister w*^ laugh at 
me sh^ I express [it], and why mar her anticipations 
of comfort. All is arranged for Madame Servoss to take 
command & myself to be her faithful steward. I have 
every confidence that we shall live in peace & harmony. 

I send the 2*^ N° of the Museum,** a copious, delight- 
ful & instructive periodical w"" will interest & improve 
Darling. Do be careful to preserve the N°^ for binding 
at the close of each Vol. I will willingly remit the cost 

4 The Museum of Foreign Literature and Science, Feb., 1826, new 
series, vol. I, no. 2, contains, on pp. 156-75, a review of Charles R. Sum- 
mer's translation of Milton's Treatise on Christian Docti'ine, published 


of the binding, for the selections will prove invaluable 
for all y"" children and the Cadets at their return will 
be able to relish their beauties. It will constitute an 
elegant parlour window book. Y' Rev*^ pastor M' Clapp 
will be pleased with the review of Milton, in w*" the char- 
acter of the puritans is drawn with great spirit. As a 
critical composition it is of the first order. Royalists & 
High Churchmen may think the portrait too flattering, 
but it is very like the life. My familiarity with this 
period of English civil & ecclesiastical history renders 
this article highly interesting. It is indeed a chef 
d'oeuvre. Eliza, by occasional reading as relaxation, will 
expand her mind & improve her taste with this delecta- 
ble work. As we are economizing, after the next half 
year of the Spectator shall expire, will its continuance 
be important. I wish you to keep up the Observer as 
containing useful intelligence of what is going on in the 
Christian & benevolent world. This is indeed the Era 
of great good, throughout the whole world. I trust that 
our beloved country may compare in zeal & effort with 
any other. Not a new institution is announced or an 
existing one reanimated, but that my heart dilates with 
overflowing joy & gratitude. I likewise send a copy of 
Cooper's last novel,^ w*" I have not had time to read. It 
is highly commended. These & the Waverleys, with few 
exceptions, are all that I w*^ incline to place in Darling's 
hands. She must be allowed to "catch the manners liv- 
ing as they rise", and without being a mere reader of 
novels, she ought to be able to converse about those of 
such high merit as the preceding. They are founded 
in history, w^ will of course interest her to understand. 
How much my beloved daughter do I wish all your dear 
children to excell. 

Wed^ [February] 15*\ The Fog cleared off yest'' at 
noon with a N. Wester. This is a fair cold winter day & 
the Talma will probably sail with a fine wind tomorrow. 
At any rate I will have my little package ready. Having 

5 James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 229 

nursed myself on Sunday, I hope that I have passed thro' 
my 2^ attack of Influenza, w" has in some degree proved 
violent & fatal in this city. We shall be solicitous till we 
hear how it has fared with you in N. 0. Your friend M" 
Foster and her mother with M""^ Morse have had a very 
tedious time of it. No doubt M"" F. has made the delay 
favourable to his business with the upper country. How 
happily has the Doctor been thro' the year past, a year 
so fatal to most of your principal merchants & so pro- 
pitious to his practice. . . . 

Thurs^ [February] W^. Appearance of Snow, but I 
shall close my letters as in case of clearing away the 
Talma will sail very early tomorrow morn^. The beauti- 
ful clear day yest'' led Mama & Sister to visit their down 
town friends, after being long housed. As Spring ap- 
proaches we live in a fine part of the town for exercise 
& our ladies will I hope walk daily, until packing up 
time for removing arrives, an awful Job, but we have not 
happily far to go. How anxiously I shall open M"" Ser- 
voss' letter in reply to the purchase, but I must abide 
the issue. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship Talma 

with a package 

New York, Thur^ 16**^ Feb^ 1826. 2 p. m. 

I carried my letters & package by the Talma as it 
commenced to snow. Sh'^ it clear off she will sail early 
tomorrow. I seldom close one despatch before I trace 
the first lines of another to my beloved daughter. This 
is intended for the Russell next week. I may acknowl- 
edge rec* of y"" box by the Chancellor w'' is daily looked 
for. It shall be taken care of & forwarded by the very 
first S^'^boat, probably not till the first week in March. 
I mentioned nothing about it in my last letter of 13*'' 
inst., not to excite expectation or longing so natural 
to young minds. 


Friday [February] 17^''. A lazy Easterly wind with 
light snow prevents the Talma's sailing. In an evening 
paper I noticed a death at the Academy, Cadet Wyckoff ^ 
of Opelousa. I recollect a M"" Wyckoff in my day who 
married the daughter of M' Mather. This is probably 
his son. He was 20 years [old], quite advanced for a 
scholar. Thus the hope of his parents is cut off. Since 
writing the above, I have rec'' a letter of 15^^ from Cap* 
Partridge w" I shall enclose. Y" dear sons are to attend 
him on his visit the P' March, quite near. I have seen 
in a Middletown paper a description of the funeral ob- 
sequies of young Wyckoff, very honourable to his mem- 
ory, & the pathetic Address of the Chaplain, the Rev. 
M"" Collet,'^ w"" must have made a forcible impression on 
the Cadets. M"" Burnham of the Ev^ Post ^ promises to 
republish it. If so, I will send you a copy. It will be 
very gratifying to the disconsolate parents to know that 
every care was extended to their promising son. Alas! 
what an afflicting blow to them. When at Middletown 
last summer & standing before the gravestone of M"" 
Hutchin's child, I told Col. Lewis that it appeared to 
me expedient to appropriate a part of the Cemetery to 
the Academy. His thoughtless reply was, that the Ca- 
dets did not come there to die. This melancholy inci- 
dent proves it otherwise. I have suggested the idea in 
my offhand reply to Cap* P. . . . 

Sat^ [February] 18*^. The portending storm cleared 
off yest^ at noon. Altho the wind is So[uth] the Talma 
has dropped down & may get to sea this day. The Chan- 
cellor probably will arrive today or tomorrow & I may 
acknowledge rec* of a letter ere closing this to go by the 
La Fayette now to sail on Tuesday. Good Tamar will 
be desperate glad to see the young men. We shall have 

^ Listed in the Roster of Academy Cadets as Ralph A. Wikoff. 
Dodge and Ellis, Norwich University, I, 53; IIL 63L 

'■ Sic for Colton. 

8 An account of the death and funeral of Cadet Ralph A. Wikoff, 
and the Rev. Walter Colton's address, were printed in The New-York 
Evening Post of Feb. 18, 1826. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 231 

all our g'^sons together at our house & Mama & Aunt 
will endeavour to regale them on niceties, as Thomas 
calls them, & make them happy, for w" purpose Auntie 
will prepare a good stock of pies. 

Monday [February] 20*\ After a beautiful day yesf 
we have snow this morn^. Sister went to S* Thomas', 
myself to the French Church. The beautiful Gothic con- 
structed new Church of S* Thomas is to be consecrated 
next Thur^ 23**, after w** the pews are to be sold, when 
I will endeavour to purchase one, if not too extravagant, 
that will accommodate us all & dispose of the one in 
Grace Church, to w" Mama is much attached, but the 
distance is too great. The sailing of the La Fayette is 
deferred till Wed^, possibly the Chancellor may arrive 
in the meantime. 

Wed^ [February] 22**. Washingtons birthday. Owing 
to a succession of storms & the prevalence of the In- 
fluenza, it passes off without the usual ceremonies & fes- 
tivities that have hitherto marked [it]. Yesf" we had 
an almost deluging warm rain from 9 to 2, when it 
cleared off, & today it blows a gale at West, favourable 
to the opening of the Hudson w'' like the rising of your 
River, restores activity to our trade. Inclosed you will 
find 2 letters from Cap* Partridge. By the last we may 
expect the Cadets weeks after next. It contains also 
the probable cause of the death of Cadet Wyckoff. You 
will see that our boys are all well. Cap* P. is sparing 
of applause, w^ may be right. His bringing them on is 
evidence of their correct conduct that speaks for itself. 
. . . We hoped to have seen the arrival of the Chancellor 
ere this, always impatient to hear from & about our dear 
N. 0. family. ... I am now conjecturing that our let- 
ters by the Louisiana may have arrived & all alive as to 
the reception of their contents, apprehensive least M"" 
S[ervoss] may think, that availing ourselves of dear 
sisters disposition to make her parents comfortable, she 
may have been induced to sanction a purchase w^ pru- 


dence cannot justify. This is not the case, but I feel all 
the delicacy of my situation. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship La Fayette 

New York, 22'' Feb^ Wed^ 1826 

My letters by the La Fayette are just made up. Sister 
will be mortified that she has not written, mainly my 
fault, as I told her that it w** [be] in time this ev^. But 
the Ships Bag is to be taken away at 8 tomorrow morn^, 
before I can get down. Indeed she has little more to say 
than what I have written that she & her bouncing boy 
are very well, but that little is always acceptable to an 
absent husband. Moreover I do not come down till noon 
tomorrow, as I propose to attend the consecration of S* 
Thomas' in our neighborhood, in w^ we contemplate to 
purchase a pew if to be had on reasonable terms, but 
I expect they will sell exceedingly high. I reserve my 
pew in Grace Church until the event shall be ascer- 
tained. We have another Church, Christ Ch. Anthony 
S*, sh'^ it be adviseable to go there. At any rate it will 
be eligible to go to a Church not remote from our con- 
templated new abode. 

Thursday [February] 23''. An elegant April day. 
Consecration of S* Thomas Ch. corner of B'^way & Hous- 
ton Street. I attended Mama & Sister to the door of 
the Church at 10 o'clock, where they obtained com- 
fortable seats, & then I returned to the Rev. M"" Duffy's ^ 
Rector, where the Bishop & his Clergy were assembled 
together with a number of vestry men of different Epis- 
copal Churches invited on the occasion. After accom- 
panying the procession to the Church at 11, I returned to 
my oflBce, having read the consecration service, w*" is very 
solemn, before breakfast, & I sh'' have heard nothing & 
seen as little. This Church is built of stone in the 
Gothic style, with 2 Towers & a large Oriel Window in 
the centre of the Front facing BVay. The Desk, pulpit, 

8 Cornelius R. Duffie. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 233 

communion railings, & windows all correspond with the 
design of the Edifice, w^ is the only one approaching 
the Gothic order in this city. It has cost the Building 
145,000, Lot $5000, & has a 3 story parsonage House, 
extra, in rear of the Church, which now makes 101 
Houses of public worship of various denominations in 
this city. The Rector has great merit for collecting & 
forming a congregation & inspiring sufiicient zeal to un- 
dertake the enterprise. Divine service will be performed 
next Sunday & the pews will be sold on Monday, when 
I hope to succeed in obtaining one that [will] please 
Mother & daughter. I shall be able to dispose of mine 
in Grace [Church] for something more than its original 
cost, $300. Mr. Duffy was originally a merchant & 
unfortunate. He was brought up by an excellent pious 
mother w" disposed him to prepare for the Ministry. He 
was ordained Deacon 3 years ago, when he undertook 
to raise the congregation now auspiciously established. 
He is a very modest man of respectable talents, a 
widower with 4 or 5 children & has been so for some 
years, having married a daughter of M'' James Bleecker. 
He is engaged, the gossips say, to a Miss Lambert, sister 
of M'' David R. Lambert who was murdered last sum- 
mer, a middle aged lady of very amiable character. So 
that the parson will have a new Church, a new House 
& a new Wife all in one year. Sh'^ we belong to his 
congregation, we will cultivate an intimacy. So much 
for S' Thomas & its worthy Rector. 

Friday [February] 24*^. Another April day. The 
Chancellor arrived yest^ P. M. & at 9 this morn^ I rec"* 
our letter from you & M*" S[ervoss] of 2^ inst., w*" I 
immed^ sent home to dear Sister. I am obliged to you 
for leaving open your letter to y"" dear boys, as it enabled 
me to add some instructions about their approaching 
visit, week after next. I forward the letter by tomor- 
rows mail, the earliest oppo[rtunity]. I shall take good 
care of the Box, w"" will be a most delightful present & 
doubly valuable coming from dear parents. Their sisters 
letters I write them shall remain till their visit, as the 


postage w"^ cost a dollar. I desire them to answer y"" 
letter next week, and they can reply to their dear sisters 
when here, to go possibly by the Chancellor. By the 
way, you ought to address y"" letters to "Cadets J. P. & 
L. M. Davidson", which is more in style than Masters. 
Marney certainly beat them all, both in originality & 
handwriting. He is wonderfully precocious. . . . 

Your friend ]VP^ Wederstrandts conversation must be 
delightful. I suppose that it is quite a relief to you to 
hear her talk. Her remarks & diction ought to prove 
highly edifying to Eliza, now of an age to distinguish 
between refined & commonplace conversation. Mrs. 
Morse will be spared thank God the anguish of any 
academical discipline inflicted on her son, who I hope 
will be more prudent in future. 

Sat^ [February] 25*^ The delay of the La Fayette 
till this day has afforded me an oppo[rtunity] of sending 
an additional letter to M'" Servoss acknowledging rec* 
yest^ of y"" letters by the Chancellor, & that all were well 
at home. Yest^ aft. noon I attended the funeral of M" 
Nicolls,^^ daughter of M' Fleming, Cashier of the Me- 
chanics Bank, a cousin of M"" Servoss. She was married 
about a year ago & miscarried at 8 months. Her child 
died. . . . Seated in the same apartment where but a 
short time ago I participated of the marriage festivities, 
& now summoned to attend a youthful bride & mother 
to a premature grave, I know not when my feelings were 
more exercised or my sensibility more affected than at 
the Funeral Service in Trinity, performed by the Bishop, 
on beholding the agony of the Father, husband & 
brothers. M"" Fleming is an excellent man & much es- 
teemed, & y"" sister promised herself an agreeable inti- 
mate acquaintance in his daughter. . . . 

Monday 27'^'' Feb^. Rain last night & a raw easterly 
day. I shall have my letters ready for the Russell, to 
sail tomorrow. Yest'' our new Church S* Thomas was 

10 Mrs. Frederick Nichols (Ellen Matilda Fleming), daughter of 
John Fleming. A^. Y. Evening Post, May 11, 1825; Feb. 23, 1826. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 235 

first opened for Divine Service. As my French Minister 
D"" Penneveyre is about leaving us, I consider it a duty 
as well as mark of respect to attend at S* Esprit as much 
as possible. Of course I did not accompany Mama & 
Sister in the morn^, but went with Mama in the after- 
noon, Sister staying home to let her nurse go to church. 
We sat in the Front seat, middle aisle, w*" Mama fancies, 
being curved & roomy at the upper end & with more 
open space for respiration in Summer, nearer the Stoves 
in winter & best adapted for my infirm hearing. In the 
ev^ there was a Collect [io]n sermon for the Epis. Tract 
Society when my young Rev*^ friend Manton Eastburn 
delivered an elegant discourse with great animation & 
eloquence. Novelty led a greater number of auditors 
than contributors, & the Church was overflowing, the 
very aisles filled. Being constructed in the Gothic Style, 
there are no galleries. The Communion railing outside 
of the desk & pulpit, w^ are entered from the Vestry 
room. The organ loft & gallery for choristers are above 
the pulpit, within the Eliptic vaulted ceiling, w^ gives a 
fine effect to the organ & voices that are carried to the 
eastern extremity of the Church, & to us below appear 
to come from that quarter. This day the pews are to be 
sold at 3 o'clock, & if I can procure Mama's choice at 
$450, or if she will go as high as $500, I shall be glad. 
Otherwise I must recede not further than 5 pews back, 
else I shall be out of all hearing. But amply near 
eno[ugh] for Mother & Sister. For myself it makes 
little odds, for the voice of the preacher is to me, in 
almost any situation, rather an utterance of tones than 
words. Happy for deaf persons that Episcopalians en- 
joy the benefit of their sublime Liturgy & can read the 
lessons of the day in their Bibles. As to Sermons we 
can get along at our fireside. Indifferent however as 
hearing certainly is, it is decorous at least & setting a 
good example to attend Divine Service. Except in very 
bad weather, I always go in the morning. Having pre- 
scribed to myself a pretty full course of Divinity reading, 
on Sunday I generally stay home in the afternoons. My 


Sabbath begins with the puritans at Sunset on Saturday 
& ends with the Episcopalians when I retire to rest on 
Sunday evening. ... I will respond [to] my Dear 
Sweet Turtle Dove's pretty letter by the Chancellor, 
w^ is to sail the last of the week. . . . 

Tuesday 28*'' Feb-''. After this long talk, having been 
obliged to attend court, thru all the rain till 12, I must 
refer you to what I write y" good brother respecting 
the very happy purchase of the pew in S* Thomas' 
Church, yest^' P. M., on w^ dear Mother & Sister had set 
their hearts, for $400. I intended going as high as $500. 
I hope to get the same price for my Grace C^ pew. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship Russell 

New York, Wed^ P* March, 1826 

My last of yest^^ date was to go by the Russell this 
day w*" is still detained by East^ rainy weather, w" ap- 
pears to be clearing off. The Chancellor, to have sailed 
the 3*^, will be delayed till next week, by w*" time the 
Virginia may arrive with another letter. Often as we 
are favoured with y"" Fireside chit chat, we still anxiously 
look for further & I hope agreeable tidings. I have 
again to attend court, this being the 3^ & I pray last day. 
It is a most irksome duty, esp^ sitting for hours in a 
large court room this humid weather. The worst of my 
Influenza has I hoped passed, but I must not halloo till 
I get thro' the woods. Next week, weather favouring, 
we shall look for the Cadets. They are to march, I 
understand, to New Haven, 25 miles distance. Marney 
will have to stretch his little legs, but as it is on the way 
to N. York he will be animated to keep up with his com- 
rades. There are 2 or 3 others as small as himself, but 
not so compactly moulded or well timbered. A Bar 
Wagon accompanies them to relieve the fatigued & well 
supplied with Belly timber. 

Thur'' 2^ March. Foggy drizzling weather retards 
the Russell. The Hudson will probably be free this 
week. The Connecticut river is open & the Steam boat 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 237 

resumes its trips on the 4*''. . . . Had the weather per- 
mitted I w*^ have gone to Brunswick yest^ to have at- 
tended the Funeral of D"" Woodhull, professor in the The- 
ological Sem^ of the Dutch Church & of the College in 
that city. He was for 5 years a zealous & efficient Sec^ 
for dom. correspondence of the A[merican] B[ible] 
S[ociety] & with whom I was intimately associated & 
whom I very much esteemed & respected. In the sum- 
mer of 1823 Mama, Sister & myself went to Princeton in 
company with the Rev. Doctors Romeyn & WoodhuU, 
both of whom are now no more. Since my connection as 
Rec^ Sec^ the following officers of the A. B. S. have died: 
1 President Boudinot, 2 Vice president Gen^ Clarkson, 3 
D"" Romeyn, 4 D"* WoodhuU, Sec^ for dom. cor., 5 Rev. 
M^ Crane, sec^ elect, & M"^ John E. Caldwell, Agent, a 
great mortality in our ranks within the first 10 years. 
I have before told you that it is my intention to resign 
my office after May next w'' will complete our 10*^ 
year. My hearing is so very defective that it makes me 
feel as an encumberer of the ground. 

Monday [March] 6*\ This the S**^ day of continued 
mild rain, dense Fogs & Vapours, much like what you 
experienced at N[ew] 0[rleans] last winter. The sun, 
this morn^, is attempting to dissipate the clouds, but 
possibly we shall not have settled weather till the change 
of the moon on Wed^. All the outward bound vessels 
have remained weather bound at Staten Island, the Rus- 
sell among the rest, w^ will occasion a long interval be- 
tween my letters. The Chancellor will not sail till the 
last of this week. With the change of wind we may look 
for a fleet of ships, now hovering on our coast, the Vir- 
ginia among the rest, in time to receive y"" letter ere 
closing this. 

Perhaps I ought to account for the chasm in my 
Diary. Thur'' 2^ was the meeting of the Managers of the 
A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety], when I had some prepara- 
tory duties to discharge. On the same day I rec*^ a very 
neat, indeed elegant letter, an evidence of her accom- 
plishments, from Mrs. Francis of Middletown, who is 


about enterprizing, V^ April next, her Boarding School 
for Young Ladies, & intimating a wish that she might 
be permitted to use the names of Gov'' Clinton & Bp. 
Hobart to refer to as well as my own. M'^ F. has been 
very kind to our Cadets, who dined with her at Xmas, & 
in case of sickness, I had arranged with her to take 
charge of the invalid, w^ she kindly promised to do. 
Under these circumstances I regarded it a duty to requite 
her kindness & on applic" to Bp. Hobart, he politely & 
cordially accorded with her request. His written note 
I rec*^ on Friday 3^^ & immed^ transcribed it in my letter 
to go by a friend on Saf in the St [earn] Boat, the navi- 
gation of Connecticut river being now open. I wrote 
also to the Cadets inclosing their Sisters letters. On 
Sat^ 4, not to do things by halves, I wrote also to my 
friend Gov"" Clinton to use his name. His reply I may 
receive this week. But usually he is so overwhelmed 
with business, during the session of the Legislature that 
he has little time for private correspondence, & I shall 
not be disappointed at his silence. I intimated this to 
M" F. to prevent chagrin. At all events I have done my 
best to serve a lady who has been kind to our boys. I 
had also to write a long letter to my young clerical 
friend the Rev. M"" Potter of Boston, in reply to one 
from him rec*^ that day, and as I do not like to send 
a mere complimentary epistle, I gave him all the eccle- 
siastical news stirring in this diocese. So much for last 
week. I had also to write to Cap* Partridge, who pro- 
poses delivering 4 Lectures during his visit, the profits of 
w'' to go to some of our public institutions. He left the 
decision to myself, & I replied, hastily, that it w'* be well 
to deliver the Lectures in the Mechanic Institution, a 
room that can accommodate 500 auditors, & to give the 
profits to their Apprentice Library, w*" I assisted to 
found, & w'' is now very flourishing. With this he has 
accorded. I did not know at the time that he had before 
done the same thing & the results of 2 Lectures by him 
produced $90, w^ was laid out in valuable books. In 
consequence of this, I have tho't of altering the plan. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 239 

that he sh"^ give the benefit of 2 Lectures to the Mec. 
Library, of 1 to the Mercantile Association Library, and 
of the 4*'^, intended to be a Military Lecture, to found 
a Military Library for the use of the Militia OSicers of 
this city, to be supported hereafter by annual contribu- 
tions. To effect all this I have been obliged to call on 
some of the officers of the Mechanic Institution, who I 
have not yet been able to see. Thus you see my be- 
loved daughter that your Fathers energies of mind & 
body are not yet quite exhausted, & that he does not 
sleep on his post or allow his talent to rust. 

Yesterday 5**", altho' the weather was exceedingly 
Foggy & humid, Mama & Sister attended service in S' 
Thomas' Church & the Communion. At the foot of the 
altar I put up my prayers for the temporal & spiritual 
happiness of all my dear children & g'^children. I was 
pleased to find so many communicants for a beginning, 
about 70. . . . Mama & Sister are much pleased with 
the pew, it is roomy & accommodating, being directly in 
front there is nothing to distract attention. Next Sun- 
day I hope to be accompanied by our Cadets. This after- 
noon we are to go with an upholsterer to give directions 
about the Cushions, kneeling benches &ca. 

Tuesday [March] 7*\ Mama & Sister went yesf 
P. M. to S* Thomas' & gave the Upholsterer, M"" Ritter, 
directions about the Cushions &ca. Many of the pur- 
chasers were there for the same purpose. All uniting 
that I had bought the best & cheapest pew in the Church. 
I have no answer yet about my Grace pew, w** I trust 
will sell for $400. This is the 9^^ day of our protracted 
easterly weather. . . . 

21/2 o'clock. Attended meeting of the Chamber of 
Commerce & praised be God, have sold my Grace Ch. 
pew for $400 & rec*^ payment. But as the cost was only 
$300 I owe the other $100 to Him who gave it, and paid 
the Rev. D'" Wainwright $20 toward a Library he is form- 
ing for the benefit of his Sunday Scholars, reserving $80 
for the benefit of S* Thomas. I have also paid the Treas- 
urer of that Church $200 on ace* & my note at 6 


mo[nths] for $200, so that I shall gladden the hearts of 
dear JXIother & Sister on my return home. How aus- 
picious every thing has hitherto occurred. 

Wed^ [March] 8"'. Haze, rain, drizzly N. E. weather. 
The Virginia arrived last p. m. & I have sent for my let- 
ters. In the meantime, by Mothers desire I have called 
on the Treas"" of S* Thomas & redeemed my Note, so that 
next Sunday we shall please God, sit in our own pew, 
a delightful thought & feeling. 

Thur^ [March] 9'\ Still Fog & rain. I hope that your 
interview with Cadet Kemmer ^^ will have afforded you 
useful information respecting Cap* Partridges discipline 
& system of education, as also gratifying intelligence re- 
specting our dear boys. . . . 

12 o'clock. The sun is struggling hard to dissipate 
the clouds. The wind has shifted to So[uth] and we 
may I hope before night have a clear sky once more. 
We do not like y"" N[ew] 0[rleans] humidity, w^ is too 
penetrating in our higher latitude for old bones. It is 
probable that Cap* P[artridge] may set off for New 
Haven tomorrow, as he is said not to be retarded in his 
arrangements by trifles. I have made all the prelimi- 
naries respecting his Lectures, & shall turn him over to 
the proper ofi&cers for the future measures, having done 
my share. The idea of establishing a Military Library 
takes like Wild Fire with the officers of the National 
Guard, to w*" my young friend Andrew [Warner] is Ad- 
jutant. I hope in my next to give you an account of 
the doings by Capt. P. The Virginia will be the next 
ship. The Chancellor is to sail on Sat[urda]y. . . . 

I am obliged to your friend Col. Hamilton for his kind 
recognition & complimentary respects. Delicate M""* 
Foster & her tender mother how much they must have 
endured on their long & tedious journey. I do not won- 
der that M'^ Clinton wishes to get back. I hope that 

11 Listed on the roster of Academy Cadets as W. B. Kenner, of Mary- 
land and New Orleans. Dodge and Ellis, Norwich University, III, 623. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 241 

ere this she has seen your city under a more favourable 
aspect. With the dissolute part of its society she happily 
has nothing to do. I am glad that the Babe is better. 

Friday [March] 10*^. At last the sun has penetrated 
the clouds, after 11 days of N[ew] 0[rleans] vapour. 
... I mentioned on the 7*^ that I had presented D"" 
Wainwright $20 for the benefit of his Sunday School 
Library. He acknowledges the rec* of a similar sum 
from another benevolent gentleman. See the effect of 
good example. . . . 

1 o'clock. I have just rec*^ & forwarded to M" 
Francis Gov'' Clintons following answer to my request 
on the 4*^ "You are extremely welcome to use my name 
in the way you indicate. I shall never be reluctant to 
appear in company with the Bishop & the Sec'' of the 
A. Bible So. in behalf of a Lady & the interests of edu- 
cation." How pleasant it is to have a favour granted 
so cordially. I have dispatched this agreeable intelli- 
gence to M''^ F. as the circumstance will be all important 
to the character of her Seminary. I wish I c*^ transcribe 
the whole of Gov' C. letter to his worthy friend. He 
concludes, in reference to my saying how comfortably 
we hoped to be settled in Broome St. & how happy to 
see him there on his next visit, "Every addition to your 
happiness is gratifying to me. What recollections since 
our first acquaintance & how rapid the progress of time. 
G*^father Pintard, &ca. &ca. &ca. My cordial respects 
to your excellent Wife." 

With no persons have I been more frank in my in- 
tercourse than with M"" C. & he knows that my unde- 
viating friendship for him, whether in sunshine or the 
shade, has always been most disinterested, as his has 
been for me. Altho' we both hailed from opposite po- 
litical parties. What terrible pens & writing. 

Sat'' [March] IV". The sun broke out yesf with g* 
heat. This morn^ the wind is very fresh at West & 
drying our late liquid mud. The Chancellor will go off 
with a leading breeze. The Lavinia did not arrive till 


yest^' p. m. having been detained off the Balize by a 
Fog 6 or 8 days. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship Chancellor 

New York, Monday 13'" March, 1826 

It will gratify my beloved daughter to learn that 
our dear Cadets are with us. Not having rec"^ any letter 
either from them or Cap^ Partridge, I was quite at a loss 
to know whether, on ace' of the late long spell of bad 
weather, the visit might not have been postponed 'till 
this week, when lo! about 7 o'clock Mama & Sister who 
heard the alarm, announced that the boys had arrived. 
I was just seated reading as usual the Bible before Tea. 
You may be sure that I descended the entry stair case 
most eagerly to embrace & welcome them. The wind 
being fresh at S. W. had retarded the arrival of the 
steamboat from New Haven later than usual. After 
rubbing off some of the Con[necticu]t mud, they came 
upstairs to see Cmama & Aunt. Poor fellows, they 
marched on Friday with their Haversacks on their backs, 
a la militaire, from Middletown to New Haven 28 miles 
thro very muddy roads, did not arrive till 8 at night. 
Marney & Thomas stood it very well but our more 
delicate [Pintard] got his left foot chafed, w" distressed 
him much. After a hearty tea, Toast, Sausages &ca. w" 
brought about 8 o'clock, they washed their feet & G'^ma 
applied Seneca Oil & wrapped up Pintards foot. They 
retired to rest & indulged till 7 on Sunday morning, when 
they came down quite refreshed, with clean linen & put 
themselves in order for Church. After prayer, they 
breakfasted heartily on Buckwheat Cakes & Coffee, and 
we all went together to S' Thomas' Church. The ap- 
pearance of the 3 Cadets in their new suits of uniform 
& caps attracted every eye both in the streets & in 
Church where their deportment was very correct. I par- 
ticipated a share of my beloved daughters maternal 
pride, as G'^mama, Aunt, the 3 Cadets followed by my- 
self went up the middle aisle in Indian file. Quite a 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 243 

novel spectacle. The Boys look exceedingly well, & 
behave with the utmost propriety. The discipline of 
Cap* P. is perceptible at a glance. Pintard is delicate 
& has not worn off his N. Orleans complexion but Mar- 
ney is as clear & ruddy as a Northern. Thomas is a 
very handsome boy & has a fine eye & imposing coun- 
tenance. After Church he went & dined at his Uncle 
Schencks. His Aunts & Cousins were delighted to see 
him. They are all highly pleased with their Captain, 
their Academical Instruction & with their Commons. 
Their looks evince that they have wholesome & plenti- 
ful fare. Pintard as usual is a delicate feeder & Marney 
eats with greater moderation than when he first came. 
Thomas plays the best knife & fork, but is far from a 
gross feeder. Excepting Thomas & his Mother, who had 
to stay home & tend the nursery to let her nurse go 
abroad, we all went to afternoon Church. The Cadets 
staid home the rest of the day & Cap* Partridge came up 
& took tea with us with whom I had a long conversation 
much to my satisfaction, he expresses himself highly 
pleased with our boys, But is sparing of praise to their 

30 Cadets have accompanied Capt P. all of whom are 
subject to his commands. The order of the day was to 
rendezvous at his head quarters, City Hotel, at 9. It 
showered & the Capt. dismissed them till 11. He came 
to see me at my office for half an hour to show some of 
the surveys performed by his Cadets, of Connecticut 
river, the navigation of which is to be improved, and 
of the upper country in Mass*^ on its borders, w*" cer- 
tainly are elegant performances & w*^ do credit to the 
Cadets of the U. S. Academy at West point. This ev^ 
he is to take his Cadets to the Theatre & I have provided 
my 3 with Tickets. They have comrades in our neigh- 
bourhood & can come home altogether. Tamar will set 
up cheerfully & let them in & keep up her neat kitchen 
fire to warm them before retiring to rest. A grand play 
is to be performed, or rather equestrian military spec- 


tacle, The Invasion of Russia or the conflagration of 
Moscow, w^ will be quite captivating to the Cadets, who 
are all to sit together & will make no small show. 

There is to be an examination in May, & April is to 
be devoted to reviewing their studies. They all think 
that they will acquit themselves like men. After exam"* 
in May, the Cap* proposes to march his whole Batallion, 
now 300, to New Haven, & display his Cadets before 
the Governor & Legislature w*" will then be in session, 
to display their maneuvres & no doubt to interest public 
opinion in favour of his Institution, w*" I cannot but 
think will progressively be very beneficial to the U. S. 

Tuesday [March] 14*". This letter must be devoted 
to y"" Cadets. Yest'' when the shower cleared off Cap* 
Partridge took over to the Navy Yard where they went 
aboard the Ohio & other vessels of War. Last ev^ they 
attended the Theatre from w'' they did not get back till 
near 1, good Tamar sitting up & after warming them- 
selves, lighting them to bed. This morn^ I stepped into 
their room at 7 & found them fast asleep. Pintard how- 
ever awoke & came down. Thomas & Marney lay till 
breakfast time, when I left them with G*^ma & Aunt & 
to attend on Cap* P. at 9. I presume they have gone to 
Governor's island altho' the wind is fresh the day is 
very fine. They were much entertained with what they 
heard & saw at the Theatre 

Wed^ [March] 15. I was exceedingly urged with 
business yest^ as you will judge by the above short 
minute, Being obliged moreover to draft an article for 
the Ev. Post, to attract attention towards Cap* Par- 
tridges Military Lecture this ev^. Yest^ being too blus- 
tering the exped" to Governor's island was postponed 
till this morning, a fine day for the purpose of crossing 
& examining the works. Cap* P. was with me just now 
(10 o'clock) to make some arrangements about the Ev^ 
Lecture w'' Andrew will attend to. The Cadets had all 
left the City Hotel for Whitehall Slip. At their return 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 245 

he is to introduce them to the Mayor & to see the picture 
Gallery, Common Council Chamber & what is to be seen. 
Yest^ morn» he took them all to the Museum to their 
great gratification. After dinner Thomas took y" sons 
to pay their respects to his Aunts & Cousins, after w^ 
they called on their old friend Cap* Holmes who carried 
them home with him. They returned to Tea & went 
to rest at 9. 

I have rec*^ a letter of grateful thanks from M'^ 
Francis for the services rendered her with Gov"" Clinton & 
Bp. Hobart, w'' certainly are important to her. I must 
reserve her very neat letters to show the qualifications 
of this Lady in cases of applications, they certainly 
evince a cultivated mind & do her credit. She speaks 
of the gratification I must experience on seeing my fine 
boys & marking their improvement and adds ''We shall 
hope for the pleasure of seeing you the next August, 
when you must allow us to claim you as our guest while 
you are in town. We shall, in whatever way we may be 
situated, always have a room at y' service." This is 
very kind & grateful. 

Thurs^ [March] 16*\ The Cadets were much pleased 
with their visit to Governors island where Pintard says 
he observed the platforms going to ruin. This is of a 
peice with our parsimonious government, w^ like the 
Indians who set their Wigwams on Fire in the spring & 
build anew when Winter returns, suffer our Fortifications 
to go to decay in times of peace to be repaird in the 
midst of war at any cost. Afterwards they were intro- 
duced to the Mayor at the City Hall, but for want of 
attention did not see the Picture Gallery &ca. for w^ I 
am sorry but another time I will take them myself. 
Yest^ IS*** was Marneys birthday, 11 years complete. 
Luckily Auntie had a find pudding smoking on the board, 
w^ passed off in compliment to the occasion. Thomas' 
birthday falls on the IS'"^ & Aunts on the 2V\ within 3 
days of each other. . . . They were invited by their 


roommate Marston to spend the ev^, had a supper & did 
not get home till 12. Several other Cadets were there. 
Pintard, on acc^ his heel did not go. Cma dressed it 
when he went to bed and it is better this morn^. . . . 
They are to be treated with Oysters today, & everything 
that c*^ make them happy has been done. . . . 

Friday [March] 17*\ Another blustering day. The 
wind was so tremendous yest^ as to prevent the arrival 
of the Hartford St[eam] Boat at her usual hour 7 this 
morn^ & from the freshness of the wind at West it is 
likely she will not arrive in time to set off at 4. This 
throws us all aback. Cap* P[artridge] was taken his 
squad on board the Boston Sloop of War lying in the 
N. river this morn^ but the wind is too high. Yesf he 
took them to Peales Museum, where they saw the Egyp- 
tian Mummies, a great curiosity. In the ev^ they went 
to the Amphitheatre, so that they have had one round 
of sights, but no dissipation. I received yester'' a letter 
from M'^ Sigourney who speaks in most flattering terms 
of the good behaviour of y"" sons esp'' Marsden. This 
astonishing boy of his own head, sent her a letter of 
thanks. I shall inclose her beautiful letter to you for 
y' gratification, after copying the verses for publication 
in the Daily Advertiser. 

Saturday [March] 18*^. Our Cadets were ordered to 
attend at 3 yest^ in case the St[eam] Boat sh*^ arrive to 
depart at 4, w*" she did not the wind being still a tempest. 
They staid for further orders till 1/2 past 6, when they 
were directed to rendezvous at the City Hotel at 7 this 
morn=. After tea taking leave of C^ma & Aunt they 
retired to rest & arose this morn^ % past 5 & take their 
last breakfast with me, good Tamar having everything 
in readiness. I went down with them it being Cap* Par- 
tridge's intention to embark at 8, in the New Haven 
Boat, happily however, the wind fell at sunset last ev^ 
& the Middletown St [earn] Boat arrived & is to depart 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 247 

at 4 P. M. so that they will reach home by 9 or 10 o'clock 
tomorrow. . . . 

Tuesday [March] 2V\ Equinoctial. We had a vio- 
lent & unusual long Thunder squall, with vivid lighten- 
ing, rain & very large hail from 7 to 9 w^ has cleared the 
dense haze of yest^, that prevented the arrival of the 
St [earn] Boat from Hartford at her usual hour this 
morning nor has she yet (II/2 o'clock) come in. I am 
very solicitous to hear about the arrival of the Cadets 
& shall walk down this p. m. with the hope of seeing 
Cap* Havens. . . . 

Wed^ [March] 22^ Fair day. Luckily as I ret^ home 
to dinner I called at Fulton Slip, where I found the 
St [earn] Boat, & obtained the following intelligence. 
The Fog was so dense on Sat^ night, that the S. Boat 
had to make a harbour at New Haven, at 11 o'clock, & 
started next morn^ Sunday, at day break & arrived at 
Middletown 7 p. m. and landed all safe. A good dinner 
& Tea was provided for the Cadets, who got back to 
their quarters in time to answer all the enquiries about 
their peregrination before retiring to rest, w*" is generally 
about 10. . . . 

Mama & Sister attend prayers at S* Thomas' this morn^ 
& service Good Friday. I cannot be there, but hope to 
be able to go to S* Esprit & on Easter Sunday to the 
Communion, probably for the last time, as hereafter I 
must be Mothers companion to Church. It always gave 
me pain to let her & sister go to Grace Ch. without [me] 
But I thot it a duty to worship in the Temple of my 

Thurs'' [March] 23''. The Lavinia is detained proba- 
bly till Saf" 25*'' for want of hands. Tomorrow being 
Good Friday, the Captain dont like to sail. I send a 
D[aily] Advertiser of this morn^ cont° M'^ Sigourney's 
beautiful lines, w'' cut out for preservation. . . . 


Good Friday 24''". A lowering day with showers. 
Mama & Sister go to S* Thomas'. I shall attend, proba- 
bly for the last Good Friday, Service in my French 
Church, as also on Easter communion. M. Penneveyre 
leaves us in May, and hereafter I must not seperate my- 
self from dear solitary mother. The wind is very fresh 
at S. E. & I hope will blow in some vessel with letters 
from N[ew] 0[rleans]. 

[Addressed by:] Ship Lavinia 

New York, 27*'' March, 1826 

My beloved daughters letter of S^^ inst. by the Azelia, 
was received yesf. . . . 

.... The time approaches when the troublesome job 
of preparation for removal is at hand, please God for 
the last time. You know not how much my mind is 
relieved that this, certainly, very favourable purchase 
please y'' good brother, whose letters on the subject are 
most tender & affectionate. God has rewarded me amply 
for many years of a troublous life in granting your dear 
sister so kind a partner & myself so respectable & affec- 
tionate a son. I have no gloomy forebodings but when 
settled we shall live in concord & harmony. Dear 
Mother's mind becomes more & more reconciled to the 
change from a housekeeper to an inmate. . . . The 
house is so accommodating that there will be room for 
all without running in each others way, & a place for 
every thing without confusion. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Enterprize 

New York, 28*'" March, 182[6] 

I send herewith a pretty little work, by M. Ferry ^^ 
the French Instructor, containing a full description of 

12 FranQois Peyre Ferry, Professor of French at Partridge's Military 
Academy, 1822-28. Dodge and Ellis, Norwich University. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 249 

the Academy, its system of education dec" w^ will spare 
my further remarks and will I am confident please you. 
The View of the Academy is perfectly correct, except 
that the So[uth] Wing is not yet built. Our boys room 
in the N W. corner room on the P* Floor, w" they will be 
entitled to change by right of seniority as more favour- 
able situations offer, by Cadets going out. 

Wed^ [March] 29^\ . . . The late eminent Doctor 
Rush, an exemplary pious Christian, told me that in the 
course of his long practice & experience he was certain 
that his patients derived more benefit from his spiritual 
advice & consolation than from his medecine 

lyo p. m. Your Father is a man of many cares & 
many duties. Let me snatch the fleeting moments of my 
remaining course. Have you a copy of the Weekly 
preparation for the Sacrament, my long & constant com- 
panion ever since Easter 1796, and w" I always use pre- 
paratory to the Sacrament, the week before & the week 
after. If you have not one, I will send you a copy. . . . 
I think I sent you a copy of M'^ Bayards compilation on 
the Lord's Supper. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Julia. 

New York, Sat^ V' April, 1826 
My beloved daughter will naturally expect a letter by 
a regular packet, altho' having written by the Julia yest^ 
to sail this day, & not much of course to say, I will not 
disappoint you. . . . 

We are now making the preliminary preparations for 
removal. Some uncourteousness has existed on the part 
of M'^ Pell,^^ arising no doubt from mortification at 
being obliged to give up a beautiful house after the short 
residence of a year. Many weeks indeed months were 

" Alfred S. Pell is listed in Longworth's Neio York Directory, 1825- 
26, as living Broome corner Crosby Street. His wife was Adelia Duane, 
daughter (not granddaughter) of Hon. James Duane. 


necessary to be employed in getting fixed. It is not every 
one that has suff' strength of mind to submit to neces- 
sity. However she has shown some disposition this 
morning to be accommodating. The universal move all 
among tenants on the same day causes infinite trouble, 
vexation & damage to furniture, indeed losses, as one 
moves out, t'other comes in. M' Bradford who succeeds 
us, has kindly allowed us all May day, w*" comes in on 
a Monday. This is great relief, & will be requited by 
granting the use of a room for light articles, China &c. 
Now if Madam Pell, who is pretty high in the instep, 
being the goddaughter of Judge Duane, a most respectable 
patriot of the Revolution, will only accommodate us with 
the use of the basement room & privilege to deposit our 
surplus Fire wood in the vault, it will be a great 


My friend M"" Boyd who is to examine the Title 
Deeds will I hope be able to accomplish the business on 
Monday 3*^ so as to have the Deed dated Tuesday 4*'', the 
anniv[ersar]y of dear Sisters marriage. A handsome 
marriage Gift. Wou[l]d to God it were in my power, to 
make each of my beloved daughters a free Gift of a com- 
fortable House on their respective anniversaries of their 
marriage. But why repine or distress my dear children, 
with idle wishes. "Wishes the constant hectic of a Fool." 

[Addressed by:] Ship Azelia 

New York, Monday 3*^ April, 1826 

My last to my beloved daughter was by the Julia, 
sailed P^ & Azelia 2^ inst. This is to go by the Lou- 
isiana, on Wed^ 5***. Just as I had assumed my pen (as 
Marney says) to write, a M'^ Stewart a young genf" in- 
troduced y'' friend M'^ Wederstrandts son John, just ar- 
rived from Balt[im]o[re] where he has been at S* Mary's 
College. M'^ S. forgot to bring on with him the letter of 
instructions, w^ he expects in the St[eam] Boat this day. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 251 

... If possible I will take him on next Friday, but this 
depends on circumstances. . . . 

Tuesday [April] 4*''. Anniv'' of dear Sisters marriage 
day & a beautiful day it is, the first pleasant unruffled 
morn^ for some weeks. Dear Mother will scarcely listen 
to my going to Middletown. She is such a Cassandra, 
that unless I can obtain her consent I shall almost jear 
to go. I hope however that she will give it on reflection. 
She says that I stand more in need of some one to pro- 
tect me than Master Wederstrandt. He did not come up 
to us yest^ aft. noon as I expected and distinctly under- 
stood. Possibly he staid with M"" Stewart to go to the 
Theatre last ev". I hope that he will not fail to make 
our house his home during his short stay, as Sister will 
be very happy, by her attention to him to requite his 
Mothers kind civilities to her, of w" she is very sensible. 

This is the Election day for Directors of the Mutual 
Insur[anc]e C° for the ensuing year. Probably, as here- 
tofore, we shall have little or no competition. The hours 
are from 12 to 2, soon over. I almost hope that this 
may be the last year of my servitude, the IS^'', a very 
long time to have laboured for little more than a bare 
subsistence. ... I must now go — 11 o'clock — to prepare 
punch, similar to that you were making for M"" Servoss 
this time two years ago & w^ you say was so much ad- 
mired in N[ew] 0[rleans]. Indeed I have served a long 
apprenticeship at punch making to know how to make 
it good. No beverage that I recollect is nicer to make 
excellent than this, as the proportions must not be ex- 
ceeded. I make it now, altogether by taste. 

Wed'' [April] 5*^. The stray Lamb ^^ returned to our 
fold yest^ P. M, I found him quite at ease on my return 
at 6. He was detained by M"" Stewart until he c^ bring 
the letters from his good Uncle & one from M"" 
Trenan[?] of Balt° inclosing $200 for Cap* Partridge. 
My namesake, whatever he was at home, is no longer 

"John C. Wederstrandt. 


an enfant gate. His air, modesty & deportment is very- 
much like Pintards. I leave open for y"" perusal my letter 
to his uncle to save repetition, for I am almost exhausted 
with letter writing, having just despatched a line to Cap* 
Partridge to let him know of our coming, & requesting 
him to permit my 3 g'^sons to welcome J. C. W. to 
Middletown. Mama gives her reluctant consent to my 
going, for John like a man says that he can find his way 
alone. . . . He is forward & skilled in his learning & 
will macke] a bright Cadet ... I have every confidence 
that the change from the monastic system to S* Mary's 
to the Military Academy will be in his favour. He will 
be braced up by its discipline & our fine northern air. 
I asked him what were the Commons during Lent. He 
replied Fish & Vegetables & appeared pleased that there 
were no Lenten days at the Academy. Nothing injuri- 
ous will be done to his Catholic principles. There are 
several Rom. Catholic Cadets at the Academy. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship Louisiana 

New York, Sat^ S**" April, 1826 

After receipt of my letter of 5*^ inst. by the Lou- 
isiana w** sailed yesf" my beloved daughter will be sur- 
prized to find the commencement of the present dated 
in this city on this day. It was fully my intention to 
have attended the fine son of y"" friend M''^ Wederstrandt 
to Middletown, yest^ afternoon. It had rained hard on 
Thurs'', and a cold w*" has more or less aflQicted thro' the 
whole winter, was aggravated by the chilling N. E. storm. 
I left home at 8 yest^ morn^ with my protege fully re- 
solved to accompany him, Mama reluctantly acquiescing. 
On calling at the Steam Boat, Cap* Havens assured me 
that there was no necessity for my going, as he w*^ see 
Master John safely landed at Middletown & placed in 
the care of Cap* Partridges Agent, who lived near the 
wharf with instructions to see him & his baggage safe 
up to the Academy. . . . Now IOV2 o'clock, I presume 
he has been rec*^ as I requested permission from Cap* P. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 253 

by my 3 g^sons, who are escorting him to the Academy. 
. . , Assure his good mother, father & uncle, that he 
shall be treated by me, as one of y"" children. There will 
be no attempt at proselyting him. With his comrades 
he will have [to] attend worship in the Hall of the 
Lyceum on Sundays, where the general principles of the 
Xt° religion & good morals are inculcated, without vio- 
lating the feelings of any denomination. There are sev- 
eral Roman Catholic youths at the Academy, for whom, 
if the[y] please, Fish is provided on Fridays. But John 
observed with great naivete, "he did not mind eating 
Meat on Fridays." . . . My good opinion of Cap* Par- 
tridges system of education has not abated. A Military 
Acad^' is getting up, under the patronage of this State, 
in the Western counties. There is also a recent establish- 
ment of one at Germantown near Phil*. This shows that 
public opinion is strongly in favour of the modern sys- 
tem of miscellaneous education, a subject that in con- 
sequence of our dear boys has much engaged & exercised 
my mind. In August, please God, I shall attend the gen- 
eral examination, when I shall be better able to judge 
of the talents of the professors, & application of the 
Cadets. Notwithstanding rivalships Cap* P's fame is 
so well established as to attract youths from all parts, 
esp'' the southern quarters of the Union, who by the 
way, being full grown, & subject to little or no domestic 
control, are very refractory. . . . 

Monday [April] 10*". A snow storm & gale at N. E. 
What an escape I have had as my Cassandra said yest^ 
when it began to rain. . . . 

Tuesday [April] IV^. We had as tempestuous a day 
yest^ as any the past winter. I walked down V2 P- 8 & 
back at 3 in a violent N. E. snow storm w" abated & 
cleared off at sunset. Wind N. W. This day is complete 
winter. I regard it as a mercy my living so distant from 
my ofi&ce. My health & strength have wonderfully re- 
cruited. Excepting hot weather, when I must ride, I go 
& come without the least perceptible fatigue. Notwith- 
standing the pitiless pelting storm of yest^ & snow di- 


rectly in my teeth, no inconvenience nor cold ensued. 
This is a mercy for w'* I cannot be too grateful. I was 
breaking down very fast when living in Wall St. Com- 
pulsory exercise is my life. . . . Mama has begun yesf 
to take up her carpets for moving. What a job she has 
before her & how little aid is it in my power to render. 
Dear Sister is as blightsome as a Lark on the occasion 
of moving to her own house — for a permanent abode 
please God. 

1 p. m. I have called at the Steam Boat. Cap* Ha- 
vens says that he arrived at Middletown, on Sat^ morn^ 
at 8 o'clock, and landed Master John safe & sound. . . . 

Wed^ [April] 12*\ Winter day. Therm** 23. Ice an 
inch & half thick last night. 

Thur^ [April] 13*\ Weather moderated. The Talma 
is below in 15 days. 12 o'clock. Your letter of 24*" 
March, my beloved daughter, is rec'd. 

Friday [April] lA^^ . . . The Niagara is advertised to 
sail tomorrow. I have sent to see when her Bag will 
be taken away . . Word is returned that she is not to 
sail till Tuesday. Thank God, for I have now time to 
write to M' S[ervoss] as also Sister. I shall give an 
ace* of my reluctant consent to accept of the Vice presi- 
dency of a very useful Society, "To improve the charac- 
ter of Domestics." I can enlarge tomorrow. This p. m. 
I have to attend the Stand^ Com. of the A[merican] 
B[ible] S[ociety] & at 1/2 p. 6, the Annual Meeting of 
the afs*^ S^ I shall be lucky if I get home by lOVs. I 
am quite exhausted with exertion. 

Sat^ [April] 15*\ I attended the Society afs** last 
evening. After hearing the Report & addresses, I retired 
about 9, when the prizes were to be distributed, and a 
handsome oct° Bible to each Domestic, who ought to 
have been present, but were not, for fear of giving of- 
fence. The Report ^^ will I presume be published when 

15 The First Annual Report of the Society for the Encouragement of 
Faithful Domestic Servants in New-York was printed at New York in 
1826 by D. Fanshaw. The New-York Historical Society owns a copy. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 255 

I will send a copy. What the result of the election for 
officers is I know not, but presume that I may have been 
chosen. Not being in office I thot it no more than deli- 
cate to withdraw, this was due to self respect, of which 
a man ought never to lose sight. As the Niagara does 
not sail till Tuesday, I can go on journalizing. I am 
sorry to learn from what M"" S. writes to y'' Sister, that 
M"" Wederstrandt is obliged to give up his plantation, & 
is coming to settle in N[ew] 0[rleans]. May better 
Fortune attend him. M""^ W. I understand is coming on 
to Bait" & will probably visit her son, when I shall have 
the pleasure of seeing her & rendering every attention 
to her in my power, in return for her continued kindness 
to you & your children. You will lose my dearest daugh- 
ter a pleasant country visit. But such is the mutability 
of human prospects. I see by your papers that the N. 0. 
College is given up. Thank God y" sons are provided 
with better means of education. The Rev. M'^ Clapp will 
I presume be a loser, unless he sh*^ be reestablished in 
one of the new schools. I sometimes think how much 
service my talents & experience might render y"" city, w'' 
appears to me to only want some active & intelligent 
mind to give impulse & direction to promote its literary 
Institutions. Cannot such a person be found who w^ 
devote his time & best abilities to promote education, 
one of the most important duties that a man can render 
to Society. 

Monday [April] 16*\ By the Talma on Friday I will 
write again. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship Niagara 

New York, Tuesday, 18*'' April, 1826 

My last to my beloved daughter, of yest^ IT**" date 
was by the Niagara which I presume has sailed this May 
morn^. This is intended to go by the Talma on Friday. 
I must snatch the fleeting moments as they pass to pur- 
sue this letter. When I made up my packet yest^ I was 
labouring under my 4*'' & heavy attack of the Influenza, 


a return in consequence of the winter weather of last 
week. I am nearly well, without other prescription than 
Seneca Oil to relieve tickling & irritation of the throat. 
Dear Mother & Sister are occupied with preparations 
for removing. , . . Porters are provided & this ev^ or to- 
morrow I shall make an engagement with 2 sober able 
bodied carmen. Much may be hand carried for the dis- 
tance is short. With my usual providence of Fuel, we 
are encumbered with several cart loads of wood, w" w*^ 
carry us thro' the summer. This will be a troublesome 
job. I must get a couple of labourers to throw it out & 
M"" Pell, the present occupant to whom I applied says 
that I may have the wood vault the middle of next week. 
If so, I shall get it stowed & take in some coal, that 
in case of cold rains usual in May, we need not be 
chilled. . . . 

Wed^ [April] 19*''. On Sunday p. m. I went very in- 
judiciously to attend worship at the House of Refuge. 
It had rained in the morn^ so as to prevent our folks 
going to Church & it was showery & damp in the 
aft.noon. My influenza was aggravated at my return. 
Dear Wife says that I am the Victim of my own impru- 
dence. I was delighted however with my visit, at seeing 
the order neatness & propriety with which every depart- 
ment was conduct [ed]. The Room temporarily used as 
a Chapel contained 63 lads decently attired & 18 Girls, 
the latter as cleanly cloathed in blue stripped [sic] cot- 
ton Gowns, manufactured in the House with white cot- 
ton long aprons & Vandykes, that were dazzling to the 
sight. The appearance & behaviour of both w"^ do credit 
to an Orphan Assylum. A decent plain Minister, who, in 
turn, afforded his services, read a Chapter, made a prayer 
& gave an excellent sermon adapted to his audience, w"" 
made several of the poor young girls weep. Hymns were 
sung out of the Sunday School Hymn Book, with female 
voices that w*^ have been the admiration of any Church 
Choir. "Lord who will show any good." Let enquirers 
attend the House of Refuge on the Sabbath, & see how 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 257 

much is performing by the benevolent Manager of an 
Institution, destined I trust to redeem thousands of 
Brands from the burning. The occupations in the in- 
cipient stage of this House, are Shoemaking & Weaving 
by the boys, platting cane bottoms is to be introduced. 
As it is intended to keep all who are committed for petty 
crimes or as vagrants, 3 years at least, so as to instruct 
them in reading, writing & arithmetic, & give them useful 
occupations, w*" will enable them to be bound out appren- 
tices to different trades. The Mechanics send a fore- 
man to instruct them & pay each year from 1/ & upwards 
a day according to their capacities & proficiency. This 
will, if not entirely support, alleviate the burthen of their 
maintenance, one of the objections of those growling 
misanthropists that infest every society, who will do no 
good themselves & do all in their power to mar the ef- 
forts of others. The Girls make, mend & wash for the 
House & make bread. Spare time is improved in making 
grass bonnets, & a portion of each day morn^ & ev^ al- 
lotted to education & exercises. The sexes are kept dis- 
tinct & have no communication except at worship. They 
have all boys & girls seperate dormitories. A correspond- 
ing Building of stone is under contract to be finished by 
October, for the Females w*" will be walled off, distinct 
from the present 1^* Edifice occupied by the Boys. A 
Chapel with appropriate seats is to be provided in the 
new building. The present is a great experiment for the 
melioration of the offcasts of Society, & hitherto has 
been successful beyond our most sanguine anticipations. 
PhiP is pursuing our steps w** on a smaller scale have 
been adopted in Boston, and will in due time be imitated 
by every city in the Union, yours among them. Pre- 
vention is better than cure, and with perseverance we 
shall save numbers of little Devils from becoming big 

I have heretofore mentioned that I declined being a 
Manager by reason of my increasing years & deafness. 
But I have & do often visit a place of so g* public benefit, 
having been a subscriber, w" entitles me to admission 


without ceremony. Among other useful deeds, I am en- 
deavourmg to get up a Scholarship in our Theol[ogica]l 
Sem^, by the congregation of S^ Thomas' Church, & hope 
to be successful, in w" case I will hereafter communicate 
my plan. The worst is that confined so much, & fa- 
tigued with mere going & coming, I have little time to 
run about, & must make use of the Agency of those who 
promise & forget to perform. But Never Despair. As 
an instance of attention, after dining yest^ I had to walk 
down to meet the Vestry of my French Ch[urch], on 
the subject of presenting a Vase to our departing Min- 
ister as a token of respect & regard & I was put on the 
Committee. This was 5 p. m. Then I had to return up 
BVay, to near Bleecker S* to meet Professor Turner on 
the scholarship, so as to shape my project before com- 
mitting it to paper. This brought me to past 6. Un- 
luckily, not knowing the cause of delay, he had left 
home. I am to try it again this aft.noon. This morn^ 
my friend Collins called on me to act as a Referree on 
the part of the Free School So[ciety] with a Com^ of 
the Corporation on the subject of receding Free School 
N° 1, w'' is ours by perpetual lease, while occupied as a 
public school, the site of w*" is wanted for public improve- 
ments in the vicinity of the City Hall. I have endeav- 
oured to decline but as reliance is had on my knowledge 
of Facts & confidence in me as a special pleader, if 
Peter A. Jay Esq. to whom I ref*^ sh*^ decline, I must act. 
Were I not office bound, the discharge of such duties w'^ 
be a pleasure. Better wear out than rust out. I am 
pretty near worn as thin as this paper. I mention these 
facts to show my beloved daughter how much her old 
father is looked up to for counsel resulting from long & 
active experience. The Spanish proverb says "Get a 
good name and you may go to sleep." I'll be hanged if 
there's any sleeping for me. But there will be sleep 
enough in the grave. 

Thurs^ [April] 20'^ The inclosed from our Cadets 
were rec*^ this morn^. John C. W. has got roomed with 
Morse. Poor fellow, he is homesick. . . . They have 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 259 

lost their Spanish Instructor nay old friend M"* Proal, 
who has been sometime ill. The substitute on whom 
I had fixed my eye, Col. Van Halen, & ex-patriot has 
returned to England. He is a scholar, & the most ele- 
gant accomplished modest soldier I ever saw. He will 
publish his life in London. He was a victim in the Inqui- 
sition from w*" he effected his escape. We shall be able 
I hope to obtain a competent Instructor, for there are 
many Spaniards in this city. 

Friday [April] 2P*. I have written to the Rev. M' 
Bayard a letter of sympathy on the death of M'^ Hallett, 
Cornelias Sister. M''^ B. sent word by Tamar, who had 
been to N Rochelle to settle her husbands Estate, that 
she was the only one left of all her family. How appall- 
ing. The Rector has some hopes of a call to Boston. 
Please God they may not prove illusory. The Niagara 
did not sail tiU yest'', so that the intervals since the 
Frances [sic] on the 5*" will appear long. 

Sat^ [April] 22**. Your letter by the La Fayette is 
rec*^ & I forward [ed] the inclosed for the Cadet ... I 
rejoice to learn the success of the Am. Theatre Ama- 
teurs, in favour of the Male Orphan Assylum, It does 
honour to the IManagers & y' city & must be highly grati- 
fying to the Doctor. 

Tuesday [April] 25*''. You may judge of my avoca- 
tions & duties by the intermission of the dates of this 
letter. I had just taken up my pen when I was called 
upon by the Vestry of my French Church, to make choice 
of a piece of plate to be presented to our Rev. Rector 
D"" Penneveyre, who preaches his valedictory sermon 
next Sunday, on his departure for Switzerland by the 
way of Havre next week. He prefers a Cajjetiere to a 
Vase, w** is fixed on & will be engraven, as a Temoignage 
de BienveiUance & du respect, from the Church Wardens 
& Vestrymen Du S* Esprit, whose names will be recited. 
It is a handsome article & no doubt will be preserved & 
transmitted to his posterity. I have been more engaged 
than I anticipated with the new Society w*" compli- 
mented me, (reluctantly on my part) with its V. Presi- 


dency. A new Agent was advertised for, and in the 
course of 5 days 76 candidates offered supported by the 
first rate commendations. We were engaged from 7 till 
10 on Sat^ ev*^ last to select from the mass, some half 
dozen w" were ref[erre]d to a Committee for investiga- 
tion, probably tomorrow a choice will be made. After 
w" nothing material will devolve on me. ... As a small 
tribute of gratitude to the Giver of all good Gifts, I have 
constituted my new g[ran]dson Thomas [Servoss], mem- 
ber for life of the Am[erican] B[ible] So[ciety]. Par- 
ents, sons, daughters & gr[an]dsons, 11 of us are Mem- 
bers. Praised be God, for the ability & above all the 

Thurs^ [April] 27"\ The Talma is to sail tomorrow 
weather permitting. This day is drizzling & easterly. 
A constant succession of similar weather for the last fort- 
night. By the Brig Eliza, Whelden, to sail next Tuesday, 
I shall send you a Tub of Butter from the same Dairy & 
put up in the same manner as that sent last year, & hope 
it will reach you in the like good condition, also a kit of 
salmon, as my spring gift. 

Friday [April] 28*''. I must close with bad news for 
my office w^ has suffered in a tremendous Fire last night, 
in the Exchange Buildings/^ totally prostrate, our loss 
will be from 30, to 40,000 Doll[a]rs w*" has never before 
occurred in 17 years experience. Gods will be done. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship Talma 
with a parcel 

New York, Sat^ 29*'' April, 1826. 21/2 p. m. 

Why are thou so troubled my soul and why art 
thou so disquieted within me? Put thy trust in God. 
No circumstance relating to my office has so borne me 
down, as the overwhelming loss that we sustained on the 

16 At William Street and Garden Street (now Exchange Place). An 
account of the fire may be found in the [N. Y.] Commercial Advertiser, 
April 28, 1826. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 261 

28*^, in the conflagration of the Exchange Building, am*^ 
to 40,000. Far beyond any thing that has ever occurred, 
since we began business in 1809, 17 years. I had fondly 
anticipated that as the time approached when I might 
retire, that I sh'^ leave the office on higher ground than 
ever it had been before. But this catastrophe has blasted 
all my prospects, and I confess that it fairly prostrates 
me, Altho' no blame nor censure attach to me, nor my 
president.^^ Tomorrow however is the Sabbath of rest, 
w'' when employed as a Christian ought to do, allways 
prove a balm to my wounded spirits. I trust I shall find 
it so. Altho' it will be a somewhat gloomy day to me, 
as my Rev. Rector, Mons"" Peneverye [sic] is to preach 
his valedictory sermon before his departure next week 
for his native land. . . . 

[Addressed : ] Brig Eliza 

with a hf Barrel [of butter] 
& Kit [of salmon] 

New York, Tuesday 2^ May, 1826 

The long agony is over & we slept last night in 
Broome St. Owing to the exertions of Arthurs Father 
M' Monahan all was removed by 5 p. m. to my aston- 
ishment. Tamar swept out where required every apart- 
ment from Garret to Street door & I returned the key 
to our accommodating successor, M*" Bradford at 6 
o'clock. Everything as you may suppose lies helter 

Thurs'' [May] 4*''. At my return home yesf great 
progress had been made. The whitewashers are at work, 
& the weather most favourable. Much rubbish is cleared 
away, & by Sat^ a great deal will be in order. Both 
Sister & Mother are delighted with the House more than 
they anticipated. A fine S° exposure affords a draft of 

!'■ Gabriel Furman. 


air all thro' & the Rooms will be cool in Summer and 
warm in Winter 

Friday [May] 5"'. . . . With others of our Vestry I 
attended my late Rev. Pastor M"" Penneveyre to the 
Wharf at 10, & bid him a final Adieu 

Saturday [May] 6*". The La Fayette sails this day. 
I add a line merely to say that our folks have got thro' 
the hardest & roughest of their work. The whitewash- 
ing is done, & as a new House is only primed, the paint- 
ers are going over the work. Instead of papering. Sister 
has concluded to paint the Walls Lemon colour, w" will 
last at least 12 years. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship La Fayette 

New York, Monday 8*"^ May, 1826 

My last to my beloved daughter was written in brief 
& extreme haste on Sat^ to go by the LaFayette, w** 
probably sailed yest^. . . . Yest^ . . . Sister accompa- 
nied me to S* Thomas in the morn^ where prayers were 
offered for my late Rev*^ Pastor D"" Peneverye [sic], on 
his going to sea. ... In the afternoon I attended at 
S* Philips, the African Church, where the Bishop con- 
firmed 120 persons old & young of both sexes. It was 
an interesting & inspiring spectacle to see an overflowing 
black congregation conducted with as much or more 
decorum & order as any Episcopal Church in our city. 
As to chanting, singing & responding they beat us out 
of sight. A delightful organ well performed by a brother 
African, conducts the choir. Indeed the latter is com- 
posed of the whole congreg". I considered it a duty to 
comply with the request of the Rev. M"' Williams & 
several of his Vestry to attend on this occasion. I gen- 
erally do once a year. The last time I was there was 
with the late Gen. Clarkson, who with myself made it a 
rule to go occasionally to countenance the Minister. I 
pray God to strengthen me in all good works. Aunt 
Helen called yest^ to see us & with M"" Craig is charmed 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 263 

with the House. He says, as every one that knows it 
does, that it is a very great bargain. . . . 

Tuesday [May] 9*". We have been a week in our 
new abode & more & more pleased with it. Mother 
works assiduously & will until all is in perfect order. 
This week, in this city, is devoted to benevolent general 
meetings. This aft.noon the Union Sunday School 
procession will take place at 4, from the Park to Castle 
Garden, probably 5000 scholars. I shall remain down 
to witness the exhibition but cannot attend the Evening 
services. Tomorrow 10 a. m. the P* Ann[iversar]y of 
the Am. Tract So[ciety] will be held in the City Hotel. 
This S° is newly organized in this city & an elegant edi- 
fice for conducting its extensive business has been erected 
at the upper end of Nassau S* opposite the Park, in the 
course of the last 12 months. It will cost $30,000 Lot & 
Building, is adapted to carry on the business of the Insti- 
tution, with every facility. The printers, binders, & 
other ofiices will pay a rent adequate to the interest of 
the Capital @ 6 p" C* or $1800, w'^ will go towards the 
resources & income of the Society. All this money, ex- 
cepting $1000 subscribed by M"" Wilder of Boston the 
president, has or will be collected in this city. I feel it 
an honour to be connected with it. On Wed^ lO*'* to- 
morrow, 4 P. M. the Managers of the A[merican] 
B[ible] S[ociety] meet to receive the delegations of the 
Aux[iliar]y So[cietie]s & their communications, at 4 
P. M. I shall be obliged to break off about an hour, at 
5 o'clock, to preside at the Savings Bank, the stated 
meeting of the Trustees being monthly every 2^ Wed'' & 
no board can be held without the presence of a Presid* 
or Vice p*. M*" Bayard, our punctual pres* is confined 
by indisposition. Col. Few is infirm, M"" Eddy, 2'^ V. 
P [resident] is at Phil^ & the duty devolves on me. These 
duplicate duties at almost the same hour, oppress me, 
But I shall get thro'. On Thur'^ IP^ is the 10**^ Ann^ of 
the A. B. S. when I shall attend in my place. In conse- 
quence of the increasing reputation, & thank God, pros- 
perity of the S** we have, this year for the first time, con- 


eluded to meet in a Church, for the purpose of more 
ample accommodation. The Dutch Church, in Nassau 
S^ the largest in the city, has been selected. Hitherto 
our meetings have been in the City Hotel. But great 
numbers have been excluded from its want of capacity. 
Not to give umbrage to any sectarian feelings, Churches 
have been avoided. But our glorious Society is now, 
after 10 years of successful experiment, so well estab- 
lished, that we have no longer to dread scruples or fear 
reproach. The one are not easily to be superceded, & 
the other are beneath contempt. My whole soul is 
wrapped up in the beneficent Institu^ and my only re- 
gret is that I cannot do more to promote their important 

21/4 p. m. I stay down to see the procession & to at- 
tend at the Depository with the Comm^ of arrang*^ at 

5 o'clock. Andrew [Warner] has just come in to inform 
me that Gen. Benedict has been up at Middletown to 
consult with Cap* Partridge on escorting the Cadets on 
their arrival, on the 4*'' July. The outline is, that they 
will be rec^ on their arrival by the Batallion of National 
Guards with a salute by the Artillery. How proud our 
Boys will feel on the occasion. As the instigator of the 
circumstance, I shall fully participate. . . . 

Friday [May] 12*\ Yest^ was the 10*'' An^ of our 
A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety]. It was a superb day. 
The meeting was held in the Middle Dutch Church, a 
numerous audience, indeed overflowing attended. The 
exercises of the day went off with great eclat. A M"" Max- 
well ^^ a Lawyer from Norfolk Virg" bore the palm, as 
you will see whenever the addresses shall be published 

6 sent to you. . . . Inclosed is a letter from Pintard 
[Davidson] who mourns over his deceased Spanish In- 
structor M' Proal who was very kind to him. I am 
pleased with his sensibility. Next Wed^ 17*^ Cap* Par- 
tridge will march with 140 Cadets to New Haven to ex- 
hibit them to the Legislature. . . . 

Sat^ [May] 13*\ The Russell sails tomorrow. . . . 

18 William Maxwell. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 265 

I shall put up the Museum & the Observers, w^ will show 
you what has taken place this week. Great animation 
is excited by all the various Institutions for acts of Xt" 
benevolence w*" attract great numbers of visitors from all 
quarters. We are rapidly becoming the London of Amer- 
ica, in good works as well as commerce. Buildings are 
rising in an unprecedented manner. Old ones prostrated 
& new ones rising in every street. I myself am aston- 
ished & this city is the wonder of every stranger. God 
grant that we may become a virtuous as well as a pros- 
perous people. 

[Addressed by:] Ship Russell 

Cap* Packard 
with a packet 

New York, Monday IS*'' May, 1826 

The Russell by w^ my last of IS**" is to go, is still in 
port waiting for a wind. Yesf & this day the weather 
was & is intemperately hot. . . . Cap* Holmes informs 
me that the Chancellor grounded at the mouth of the 
river, so that it will be sometime ere she arrives. The 
Lavinia is next looked for, possibly not till the close of 
this month. We are calculating that M"" Servoss may be 
embarking about this date. As he will not arrive till 
June, he will have to perform Quarantine. 

[May] 17*^. The gloomy impression on my mind 
almost broke me down yest''. Every day this week I 
have taken my cracker & glass of water in the office to 
write of afternoons, when we are retired & expect to do 
so till Sat^. We are going thro' a laborious investiga- 
tion to see if we can find any thing after paying losses 
to make a Dividend, w^ I am persuaded we cannot, with- 
out touching our capital w*" w*^ be iniquitous. This sub- 
ject has distressed me the more as after toiling 17 years, 
since 1809, for little else but bare existence & that with 
the most rigid economy, as you know, I had consoled my- 


self with the hope that on retiring w" must be in a year 
or two, I sh'^ have left the office better by some 40 or 
$50,000 surplus, gained during the discharge of my 
duties. Providence has ordered otherwise & I must sub- 
mit. The fault is not mine, nor am I or my worthy 
president M'" Furman reproached. Let me therefore kiss 
the rod. But it is a bitter blow, to my probably false 

Thur^ 18'*^ May. My birth day, when I enter my 68'" 

As the season for despatch by sea is passed away, I 
shall send this scrawl by mail, least there sh^ be too great 
an interval between my correspondence. . . . Owing to 
the immensity of work & the difficulty of getting me- 
chanics, our painting &ca. moves heavily. We hope to 
get in our bed chambers on Sat'' possibly the dining 
room, & to be in tolerable order next week. . . . The 
country is literally burnt up with a long drought of 20 
days, & the gardens suffer 

New York, Friday lO*"^ May, 1826 

Yesterday I despatched a line by mail to my beloved 

daughter, as it was my birthday We hope to get 

rid of the painters tomorrow, possibly, at least to have 
the dining room walls finished that there may be one 
spot in w'' to sit & take our meals in comfort. As to 
carpets, it will be well if they get down in a month, such 
is the demand for all kind of work, in the housekeeping 
way. Such multitudes moving together, & all wanting 
fixing, repairing, furnishing & embellishing at the same 
moment, the demand exceeds the supply of hands. This 
is one & a serious inconvenience of a move all on May 
day. But a benefit is, the greater choice of Tenements 
in February, & greater purifications of Houses, for those 
who w*^ suffocate in their own filth, will not put up with 
that of former occupants. This tends to secure health, 
esp^ among the lower classes, for every change of abode 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 267 

is attended with whitewashing, scalding bedbugs, of w'' 
even in our new House we have had our ample 
share. . . . 

Saf 20'''. 2 p. m. I have just time to say that the 
meeting of my Directors has passed smoothly, without 
reproach or the slightest censure on the officers. We de- 
clare no Dividend, but after paying all our losses, leave 
off with a surplus of $10,000. . . . 

Wedn^ 24*". I have procured a h^ B[arre]l Shad 
N** 1 w'' will be sent alongside the Chancellor tomorrow. 
... It pleases me to find that every thing relating to 
the House is so agreeable to M' S[ervoss]. I am happy 
that he has escaped the toil of moving. He is best out 
of the way. As to the Back building it will be some 
weeks ere it is undertaken, such is the demand for Car- 
penters & Masons. The building altering & repairing 
exceeds all former years. At the rate we are going on 
this city will double in 15 Years from the last census of 

Friday [May] 26*\ I have little to add to this long 
roll. Yest^ P. M. I attended as pallbearer the Funeral 
of M''® Quackenbos,^^ an aged respectable lady 81 years. 
My old acquaintances are gradually disappearing. . . . 
By this oppo[rtunity] I send for the amusement & in- 
struction of my g[ran]ddaughters M''^ Barbaulds works 
just republished containing her poetical productions & 
beautiful specimens of letter writing w^ may serve as 

models for y' dear children 

[Addressed by:] Ship Chancellor 

New York, Sat^ 27*" May, 1826 

I have just closed my letters to go by the Chancellor, 
w" sails this day. By her I send a hf. B[arrel] prime 
Connecticut river Shad, put up by the same person as 

19 Mrs. John Quackenbos (Catharine De Witt). N. Y. Evening Post, 
May 24, 1826; A. S. Quackenbush, The Quackenhush Family (1909), 
p. 89. 


what I sent last year. . . . Young Ingraham who went 
up with the invitation of the National Guard to Cap* 
Partridge to attend with his Cadets, the approaching 
4*" of July, told Andrew that Marney was the most prom- 
ising boy in the Academy & beloved by every one. This 
is great praise. As Marney rooms, as they call it, with 
the Cap* he has an oppo[rtunity] of being seen by every 
visitor. . . . 

The B[arrel] of Venison was sent up yesf & I c*^ 
not but feel sensibly this expended instance of my dear 
daughters generous bounty, altho' I c*^ have wished it had 
been more circumscribed. Let this gift suffice once for 
all. Altho' it is rare here to procure good venison Hams, 
Our Smoke Beef well cured approaches so nearly in 
flavour, when a little matured. I tried some at tea last 
ev^, but it was too dry to judge of its flavour. After 
being a few days in the Vault to soften it will come 
to. . . . 

This day makes 4 weeks since we have had the least 
rain. Lucky for our folks, the Cistern is capacious, & 
still holds out, but the want of rain occasions distress 
among our housekeepers, & the country suffers. Owing 
probably to the extreme dryness of the atmosphere, I 
have suffered with a violent headach, last Wed'' esp^. 
The stricture across my eyes & violent pain in my tem- 
ples, quite distressed me. The coolness of Thurs^ & 
yesf" mitigated the symptoms. I met Francis on Thurs'' 
ev^ & told him that I was apprehensive that I must 
have recourse to his lancet. He advised me to take a 
doze of Epsom salts first & see whether it w*^ not relieve 
me. . . . 

[Addressed by ship] Azelia 

New York, Monday 29*'' May, 1826 

My last, of 27*^, was by the Chancellor, to sail that 
day, & by the Azelia, to sail yesf 28*^'. ... I have rec'' 
this morn^ darling Elizas very satisfactory letter of S*"" 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 269 

inst. by the Frances arrived yest^, to which I shall send 
a short reply, & the new Waverley novel, Woodstock, as 
a reward. . . . 

Tuesday 30*''. We have had the most ext^ weather 
throughout this month that every I knew, excessively 
hot the forepart & as excessively cold the latter. . . . 

Thur^ 1 June. I have but a moment to close as the 
Lavinias bag is to be taken away at 9. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship Lavinia 

with a small packet 

New York, Sat^ 3"^ June, 1826 

.... After a months upside down house, we are at 
last in a situation to receive the calls of friends, w*" are 
very few, the 2 lower rooms being in order & look very 
neat, if not elegant, without much of extravagance. 
Nothing being added since M"' S[ervoss] was here. 
Mothers bedroom is in order & she told me on retiring 
last night that she never in her life toiled harder, than 
during the last 6 weeks. It made my heart ache, for I 
c[oul]d see her worn down frame succumbing under 
such incessant care & trouble. Our back building lingers 
& will do so I fear thro' the summer. Not until yest[er- 
da]y c[oul]d I even obtain M'^ Ireland ^^ to call with me 
& view M"" De Rhams, in Park Place, wh[ich] is in all 
respects well adapted to our wants. . . . 

Monday [June] S*''. After 2 days of intense heat a 
match for N. Orleans it is cooler this day with prospect 
of rain. The Louisiana being destined for Sat^ I must 
defer writing until I have brought up the Minutes of the 
A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety] w'' I c*^ not commence as 
usual last week owing to extreme lassitude. 

Tuesday [June] 6*''. A dry N Easter yest^ & today 
has relieved me very much & the coolness has enabled 
me to despatch my minutes with comfort. But the task 

-0 Probably George Ireland, who is listed in Longworth's New York 
City Directory for 1826-27 as a builder. The same directory lista H. C. 
De Rham's residence as 22 Park Place. 


becomes burthensome & I long to resign it. My time 
has not yet come. I intended to have mentioned in my 
last that I have been instrumental in laying the founda- 
tion of a scholarship in the Episcopal TheoP Sem'' in S*^ 
Thomas' Church. I sent a prospectus of the subject. I 
am happy to say, that it has met the approbation of the 
Congreg" generally. The subscrip"" of a life member is 
$25 and I subscribed for myself & my dear little g'^son 
making $50, w'' was instantly paid out of the profits I 
rec*^ on the sale of my pew in Grace Church, w^ I think 
I mentioned, & w^ is now nearly applied to Church pur- 
poses. It w*^ appear to me almost sacrilege to have ap- 
propriated this profit ($100) to my private behoofs. My 
liberality to benevolent purposes tho' humble appears so 
great for one in my circumstances, that I am obliged 
to apologize almost for my acts & deeds. This is some- 
what mortifying, but it is essential as the ungenerous 
& unkind w*^ suppose that I had hidden resources arising 
from my former situation w*" w*^ make me a villain & a 
perjured man. But God knows my heart and in this par- 
ticular, my perfect rectitude. Not so the World. Re- 
moving to the upper part of the city, I am of more im- 
portance than when below, where I was overshadowed by 
wealth & arrogance. I never c*^ have been instrumental 
in getting up a Scholarship in Grace Church, where my 
insignificance, I mean in the Bank book way, w*^ have 
rendered my exertions unavailing, and experience has 
taught me no longer to wear out my remaining strength 
by struggling ag* the current. My experience becomes 
very useful & I know it, w^ makes me more willing to 
render my services when required or rather urged. A B*^ 
of Managers to conduct the scholarship was chosen & 
contrary to my express determination I was elected the 
1^* Vice Pres* the Rector being Presl Being in a de- 
gree the Father of the child, I c*^ not refuse to aid in 
rearing it. We shall succeed, tho' slowly. It ought to 
be the affair of one year to raise $2500, but sorry I am 
to say, that my brother Episcopalians in this city are 
very lukewarm in everything regarding our Semin[ar]y. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 271 

Not SO the Presbyterians who to their credit be it spoken, 
are all active & zealous in behalf of their Sem'' at Prince- 
ton. . . . 

Wed^ [June] 7'\ Last ev= I attended the monthly 
meet^ of the Managers of the So[ciety] for promoting 
the improvem* of domestics. It was with great reluc- 
tance that I yielded to the importunity of the founder of 
the S° to take a share in their labours. I am now glad 
that I consented, as I have now an oppo[rtunity] of 
seeing the inside of this important Institution, w*" is con- 
ducted with great zeal & intelligence & meets liberal 
support. Faithless & unsteady domestics are among 
more than the Insect vexations that annoy the peace & 
happiness of domestic life, esp^ of the Mistress of the 
House, whose patience & temper are put to the most 
severe exercise. Y"* Sister is now looking out for a 
waiter, a coloured man, to suit the rest of our kitchen 
furniture. But the impositions practised in giving false 
characters are shameful. Yest^ a man called sent by 
our Agent, with a very fair recommend" & every way 
suitable. On Sisters going down to the lower part of 
B'^way, a boarding house & conferring with M" Miller 
with whom he last lived, she depicted him the very re- 
verse & expressed surprize that her daughter sh"* have 
given such a recommend" to a worthless, indolent fel- 
low. . . . These indiscriminate, indeed false characters 
it is our object to correct. It will require time & ex- 
perience to remedy these evils, but they are not irremedi- 
able. . . . 

Thurs^ [June] 8'^ ... On Sunday next Gov"" Clin- 
ton has promised to take Coffee with me, the only day 
he is disengaged, for he is in a constant round of public 
& private parties. Hosack & Francis & probably M"" 
Eastburn, lately from Eng*^ will compose our little assoc" 
to talk over what may promote the interest of Science & 
Literature. What old is to be revived, what new is to be 
done. It is in small circles of free conversation, such as 
these that the first germs of the most important institu- 


tions are cherished. I hope at the Governors autumnal 
visit to be able to invite him to dine with others who 
may contribute to enliven the "feast of reason & the 
flow of soul." I long to retaliate some of the hospitali- 
ties that I have received. The expence shall be mine. 
One or two such dinners thro' the season, may enable 
me to discharge some debts of long standing, before my 
departure hence. 

Friday [June] 9'''. Prostrating heat. I am glad to 
say that Sister has obtained an excellent coloured man, 
Robert, who had lived many years with D' Rogers & has 
a superior recommend" from him. He left a good board- 
ing House @ $12 a month to live in a small genteel 
family @ $10. He is rather under size, the better, very 
capable & willing, & a pious good man, about 30. He 
came yest^ & attends our family prayers, with great ap- 
pearance of interest. He reads & writes well, & will 
instruct Marian, Mothers servant, a daughter of N Ro- 
chelle Hannah. I have every hope that he will wear 
well. He certainly will find an easy place. Thus far 
we are favoured. I owe this domestic to M"" Patten,^^ 
agent of our Domestics Society, who in a degree owes his 
election to me, & a most competent Agent he is. After 
attending the Stand= Committe[e] at 5, I am to call at 
the afs*^ office, & then to take my seat as one of the 
Comm^ for organizing Infantile Schools. The object is 
to rescue from vice & misery, the multitudes of poor 
Children, who are turned out like pigs into the streets, 
or locked up in cellars, with bread & water, while their 
parents go out to work in the morn°, until their return, 
too often beastly drunken, at night. It is confidently 
trusted, as in London, some corrective may be found in 
this city, w^ I am proud to say emulates every good ex- 
ample. ... I send for darlings reading Granby,-- an 

21 David E. Paton, agent of the Society for the Encouragement of 
Faithful Domestic Servants in New- York. 

^-Granhy (London, 1826) was written b.v Thomas Henry Lister, and 
Tremaine by Robert Plumer Ward, according to Halkett & Laing's 
Dictionary oj Anonymous and Pseudonymous English Literature. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 273 

approved Novel by the author of Tremain. The Mu- 
seum has not yet appeared. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship Louisiana 

Cap^ P. Price 
with a small packet 

New York, Tuesday IS''^ June, 1826 

My last of 9^^ was by the Louisiana which sailed on 
the 11*". This probably will go by mail & I hope to ac- 
knowledge letters by the Niagara, daily expected. . . . 
Last week, thro' the newspapers, I learned the decease of 
my dear & invaluable friend Judge Griffith.-^ He died 
on the 7^^ inst. at Burlington after a short & severe ill- 
ness, in his 6P* year. After sad reverses, he had rec"^ last 
winter the Clerkship of the Supreme Court of the 
U States, w" called him to Washington. Singular to re- 
flect, when I emerged out of my difificulties, at the in- 
stigation of M"" GrijQBth I offered myself a candidate for 
this very oflSce, w" Chief Justice assured me I sh*^ obtain. 
On reflection I declined it, & Elias B. Caldwell brought 
up in M"* Griffith's office, was appointed & held the 
station until his decease last year, when his old master, 
my friend, was appointed. It was a comfortable assylum 
for his old age. As I wrote M""^ Bradford yest^ I had 
fondly hoped that I might visit Washington to congratu- 
late President Clinton, and once more meet the friend of 
my adversity, on this side of eternity. But he has de- 
parted before me, and I sincerely declare that I mourn 
his loss. His constitution was extremely debilitated, & 
he had suffered thro' life with a nervous headache, in an 
extreme degree. Friend of my early unhappy days, and 
constantly so thro our existence. Adieu. Cousin Abby is 
I believe with her son John at Natchez. She had been 
a twelvemonths ago, at deaths door, but had recovered 
so as to enable her last autumn to visit her sons. . . . 

Wed'' [June] M**". I have been obliged to submit to 

23 William Griffith (1766-June 7, 1826). Dictionary of American 
Biography, VII, 625-26. 


the lancet. D"" Francis bled me this raorn^ after taking 
magnesia & Epsom last ev^. My blood was in a very 
bad state, the depletion was moderate & has relieved 
my distressed head. . . . Yest^ I did not return to din- 
ner. At 3 I attended the meeting of the joint Comm®^ 
of the pubhc Schools & projected Infantile Schools, at 
the Governors Chamber in the City Hall, where I had 
to make some observations in favour, w'' excited me too 
much. A subcomm[itte]e of w*" I am one was ap- 
p[ointe]d to confer with the Acting Com'' of the Public 
Schools & report. We shall get the project up. But 
strange to add, there are those who oppose it, thro' fear 
that taking care of & schooling these poor little offscour- 
ings of the city, will tend to alienate parental affection 
as also lessen parental care. The Free Schools, A[meri- 
can] B[ible] S[ociety], Savings Bank, Sunday Schools, 
all now so preeminently flourishing, were all alike spe- 
ciously opposed by some who now, thank God, are among 
their warmest advocates. Nothing can succeed without 
enterprize, & as Milton has said "No effort is lost." 
This meeting kept me till near 5, when I had to attend 
that of the Vestry of the French Church. Thro' the 
imprudence, I might almost say, impudence of D"" Pas- 
calis, a French Minister ^^ has come from Paris, provided 
with every evidence of talents & qualifications. A 
Comm^ is app[ointe]d to investigate & report. The 
situation of this gent° is very painful. With full confi- 
dence of becoming our pastor, if not repulsed, He must 
remain in a state of anxious suspense until we hear from 
Bordeaux, where we are officially in treaty for a Minister. 
Were it not for abandoning the Church of my Fore- 
fathers, I c'' wish to resign my seat as Senior Warden. 
This subject afflicts me & has added to the excitement 
of my morbid system. But I believe I mentioned it in 
my last, how forgetful I am becoming. I declined going 
on a very pleasant Steam Boat party on Monday, with 

24 M. de Ferney. J. A. E. Maynard, The Huguenot Church of New 
York (1938), pp. 225-26. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 275 

the Governor & several prominent characters, in con- 
formity with my general abstraction from all public par- 
ties of pleasure. I likewise declined going to Albany 
yest^, on ace* of the Savings Bank to make an offer for 
the Loan of $150,000. My president M"^ Furman went & 
the trip will do him good. . . . 

Thursday 15*^ June. This is post day, and not to 
cause too great an interval between the dates of my 
letters, I shall close this. In future as our intercourse 
must be cheifly by mail I will write every fortnight un- 
less something special sh*^ occur. The Niagara lingers, of 
course have nothing to acknowledge. I am happy to add 
that M^ Ireland called last ev^ & took the dimensions 
of the Back building, w*" will contain 2 Rooms upper & 
lower of 10 Feet by 15, the first for my closet, the latter 
a pretty breakfast room & when alone large eno[ugh] 
to dine in, thus keeping the principal dining [room] free 
from dust & daily use. This Room moreover will make 
a snug retreat for the Cadets next winter, on their visit, 
where they can amuse themselves without annoying 
Uncle Aunt & G^^mama, & sit in the parlour when called 
for. A portal of 9 feet by 6 will connect the build" with 
the main house affording closets below & a little place 
for a seamstress above. In short when this shall be ac- 
complished, I shall think myself in paradise, for I want a 
retreat out of the way as much as the Cadets, & where 
within the compass of 10 by 15, I may chaunt, "My 
mind is a Kingdom to me," & like Robinson Crusoe 
survey the wonderful extent of my empire. As my am- 
bition is limited I may hope to realize my wishes. A 
M"" Rich is appointed [to] do the job, who is well recom- 
mended & will give me an estimate of the cost, w^ I hope 
will not exceed $1250. But materials & work are 
enormously high in this extensively building city. I 
have just rec*^ a letter of yest^ from Marney, the ready 
writer. All are well, but want new white pantaloons for 
the 4*'* July. When Andrew goes I will get them to 
send me a pattern each, to procure them. . . . The letter 


was brought by their professor M"" Williston -^ (of lan- 
guages) who says that my g[ran]dsons improve & be- 
have well. I have subscribed to a work he is undertak- 
ing, in order to rivet his attention to them. . . . 

New York, Friday 16*'' June, 1826 

I wrote yest^ by mail, but seeing the Brig Nimrod 
to sail on Sunday I shall send this by her. The Niagara 
arrived yest^. . . . 

Sister will be happy to see Miss Chew, for she can 
now receive company with comfort. She has a most ex- 
cellent waiter. ... I am glad that y*" friends fine son 
Beverley [Chew] is intended for Columbia College, 
where I am persuaded he will be better educated than 
in Virginia University, w'' is conducted upon too gen- 
eral & philosophical principles to please me. The Stu- 
dents will I fear all turn out Infidels and Sciolists. With 
regard to Stanhope Smith, the claims are very strong 
that he sh** be a beneficiary in Nassau Hall. Not being 
in any wise connected with my Alma [Mater], than by 
good wishes for her prosperity, I know not otherwise 
than thro' M"* Bayard, Perhaps M"^ Stockton, I could 
obtrude my opinion. But certainly any act in my power 
to promote the education of this extraord^ youth, as well 
for his own as his parents sake, will afford me pleasure. 
... I begin to be consulted on many subjects of im- 
portance to the welfare of Church & State, and by none 
am I more regarded than by my esteemed friend Gov"" 
Clinton. It gratified Mother & Sister that M" C. called 
upon them, previous to leaving town, in the most 
friendly manner, a proof of the Governors esteem. . . . 
What you remark about industrious occupation & the 
salutary effects of bustling about house is perfectly cor- 

-5 Ebenezer Bancroft Williston. He edited Five Books of the His- 
tory of C. Cornelius Tacitus (Hartford, 1826), reviewed in The United 
States Literary Gazette (Boston), for July, 1826, vol. IV. pp. 298-300. 
His Eloquence of the United States, in 5 volumes, was printed at Mid- 
dletown, Conn., in 1827. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 277 

rect. Indolence induces ennui, w^ is the parent of dis- 
content. Health can only be promoted by exercise, & 
Female exercise can alway be found within doors. . . . 
Last aft.noon I was obliged to repose for the first time in 
many years, in order to recruit my spirits for an inter- 
view in the ev^ with two Quaker friends, Griscom & 
Collins on the subject of improving the education of the 
children in the House of Refuge, w" occupied 2 hours of 
our deliberations. It was to render my opinion, w^ took 
up near an hour. You cannot imagine how much I was 
excited by the effort. . . . 

Sat^ [June] 17. After a refreshing rain yest[erda]y 
our weather is very cool & pleasant. . . . My darling 
g[ran]ddaughter has written a beautiful letter to her 
g[ran]dmother that has quite charmed her. As a reward 
I send with the Museum a new book, just fresh from the 
press for her improvement, the Xt° Philosopher,-*^ w*" I 

hope she will read attentively 

[Addressed by:] Brig Nimrod 

with a small packet 

New York, Tuesday 20^*^ June, 1826 

My last of 17*^ inst. was by Brig Nimrod w'' sailed on 
18**". Looking in the morn= paper for any vessel up for 
N[ew] 0[rleans] I find the Brig still detained by the 
weather. Yesf", at 7, a Rain commenced w*" lasted thro 
the day. At night it rained very hard & all the cisterns 
are filled. The earth must be completely saturated. Veg- 
etation will revive & we shall once more be favoured with 
vegetables, w^ have been very indifferent & very dear. 
Cap* Partridge has arrived to make arrangem*^ for the 4*'' 
July. He will bring 250 of his Cadets, those I presume 
who are competent to duty. Ours are among them. . . , 

Thurs'' [June] 22*^. A long N. E. rain, still continues 
w*" retards the Talmcal the Nimrod must be still in port. 

26 Thomas Dick's Christian Philosopher ; or, Connection of Science 
and Philosophy with Religion. 


Friday [June] 23*^. . . . Altho' the rain has abated 
the weather is raw & easterly. I have had to run to & fro 
on business of our Savings Bank. A large sum of U 
States Loan is to be paid off on the P* July. In anticipa- 
tion for reinvestment, we have purchased $150,000 of the 
Canal Comm" Loan, Int. @ 5 p" c* for w*" we pay a pre- 
mium of 6 p. c*^ adv^ making 159,000 payable tomorrow. 
To meet this an accommod" has been made by the Me- 
chanic B" in w" we keep our account. The Savings Bank 
is a delightful Institution & most prosperous. The bur- 
den of investment falls on the Funding Comm^ of w** I do 
my share of duty. This month closes our 7*" year & when 
our accounts are audited next July, I will send you the 
statem* to show how far the result will have exceeded my 
most sanguine anticipations. You see how near this sub- 
ject is to my heart, by so constantly recurring. If no 
other, I shall at least leave this, I hope, a monument of 
my useful existence. My turn on the attending Comm^ 
comes on in July, when will commence our 8'^ year. 

Monday [June] 26*^. The rain still continues. It 
was violent last night. It fortunately held up, with 
every appearance of clearing off on Sat^ P. M. so as not 
to interfere with laying the Foundation of a new Free- 
masons Hall, opposite the [New York] Hospital in 
BVay, with great Masonic splendor & ceremony. I 
was not present, owing to indisposition, brought on 
by over exertion in the morning attending to the busi- 
ness of the Savings Bank, w*" was happily executed so as 
to secure the purchase we had made. . . . This makes 
the 8*" day of continued heavy rain. . . . 

Tuesday [June] 27*''. After a close, foggy afternoon, 
with some more rain, the late long storm cleared off, with 
heavy thunder & lightning & a torrent of rain, at 9 
o'clock last ev^ The atmosphere is purified & we enjoy 
a fine elastic refreshing air this morn°. . . . 

Wed^ [June] 28*''. The Amelia arrived yest'', by her 
I have rec*^ y"" letter of 2^ & from M"^ S[ervoss] of 3"^ who 
writes that he expects to sail about the middle of the 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 279 

mo [nth] in the Russell. . . . M"^ Bayard from Prince- 
ton is just in town. I spoke to him about Stan- 
hope Smith. Altho' there are no beneficiaries in Nassau 
Hall, yet he thinks there can be little doubt but that for 
the sake of his ancestors, the Trustees will grant him a 
gratuitous education. He will confer with M" Salomon 
on the subject. . . . 

New York, Friday SO*"^ June, 1826 
.... I am now going to the An[nual] Commence- 
ment of the [General] Episcopal Seminary. I could not 
attend the examination with any benefit, this mark of at- 
tention is in my power. If I cannot hear, I can see. 
Moreover I wish to pay my personal respects to Bp. 
White the venerable patriarch of our Church. 

Sat^ 1^* July. As purposed I paid by nominal attend- 
ance yest^ & expressed my thanks to Bp. White for his 
persevering regard for the Seminary, at his advanced 
period. I c*^ hear nothing of the dissertations, that of a 
M"" Grifiin,^^ on the perpetual observance of the Sabbath 
was highly spoken of. This morn^ has been pretty much 
devoted to the Savings Bank, on the part of the Funding 
Com^. This day commences our 8*" Year, w'' I shall lead 
in by courtesy. I shall have to attend 15 times this month. 
I made my deposits for your children, whose accounts 
am* with Interest, to within a picaloon of $114 each, w" 
gives them more than $5. a year Interest. By persever- 
ance how the quarterly deposit of $3 has accumu- 

Wed'' 5^^ July. The great, the splendid Jubilee is 
over, & what with the Cadets & the fatigue of yest^ I 
can scarcely whet my energies to commence my brief nar- 
rative. For the order of processions & the public shows I 
refer to the papers sent herewith, w^ I beg you to cut out 

27 Edmund Dorr Griffin. 


the extracts relating to the Jubilee & preserve for y" sons 
perusal at a future day. I rose yest^ at 1/2 p. 4, dressed 
went to market to procure fresh fruit, breakfasted at 6, 
& began my fatigue duty ; at 7 I was at the Steam Boat 
Wharf Fulton Slip, where the National Guard were pa- 
raded to receive the Cadets. They waited till 8 when 
they were obliged to march to the Battery to receive in 
Castle Garden the standard from Gov"" Clinton. I lost 
sight of this ceremony as I remained in anxious suspense 
for the arrival of the Cadets, dreading least some acci- 
dent had occurred. At % p. 9 the Oliver Elsworth ap- 
peared her deck covered with 248 Cadets under arms with 
knapsacks on their backs. They were rec*^ with the accla- 
mations of a multitude of spectators, & marched thro' 
Pearl Street Maiden lane & Broadway to the Battery. 
Such was the immense throng of spectators & pressure of 
the crowd that I had no chance to get near my g^'sons. 
I took every chance to see & speak to them but in vain. 
It was worse in the park, where the whole militia on duty 
were drawn up after returning from the Battery at noon. 
The marching salute performed a feu de joie was fired 
about 1, when the officers of the National Guard con- 
ducted them to the old Bulls head in the Bowery, to par- 
take of a collation, which they attacked like ravenous 
wolves. It was my intention to have filed off with my 
squad from the park, but there was no getting near them. 
So after much trouble in picking up their knapsacks, caps 
& Muskets, w*" had been thrown promiscuously on the 
floor, we made out to reach home at % p. 3, when the 
Cadets stripped off their coats, washed & partook of some 
cool weak sangree well covered with nutmeg to recruit 
them, and then went down into the basement room, to 
dine on an elegant round of Beek, Chicken pie, fried 
chicken & smoking ham, with abundant vegetables. They 
had lost their appetites at the collation but partook of 
stewed Cherries on sliced Bread, Raspberries & Whortle- 
berries in profusion. . . . The Cadets with us are 
my 3 G[ran]dsons, Wederstrandt, McCutcheon, Davis, 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 281 

& a M"" Bailey ^^ of Virginia, in all 7 well behaved correct 
youths as one w*^ wish to see & be proud of. 

Thur^ [July] 6*^ . . . The[y] were reviewed yest^ 
morn^ after mustering in the park by the Mayor in 
presence of a large but not crowded concourse of citizens. 
I was ignorant of the intention & missed the oppo[rtu- 
nity] of witnessing the exercises, marchings & firings w" 
gained the Batallion universal applause. The perform- 
ances were equal to the best disciplined troops & far sur- 
passing our militia Regiments, w" are by no means defi- 
cient. After the exhibition, they crossed over in the 
steam boat to view the fortifications of Governors island, 
& returned about i/^ p[ast] 3, when on the appearance of 
a N. E. storm. Cap* P[artridge] ordered them to return 
at 4, not allowing the Cadets time to return to their dis- 
tant quarters & refresh. The consequence was that I 
kept my squad over, except M"" Bailey & Pintard who 
trotted off & embarked for Middletown. Not anticipat- 
ing this speedy return, Tamar very kindly took all their 
soiled clothes & linen to wash & I had ordered the panta- 
loons to be sent home in the evening w** was accordingly 
done. Our 5 remaining Cadets staid within doors as it 
began to rain smartly. It cleared off quite cool & pleas- 
ant this morn^ & after breakfast I had y"" sons, Thomas 
[Servoss] & J. Wederstrand measured for black stock, w*" 
they wished for, as cooler in summer, being only 75 cts 
each. . . . They are to return home to dine at 2, pack up 
& set off at 3, to embark in the Steam boat M'^Donough 
at 4. In the meantime Thomas takes them round to see 
his Aunts Wood,^® Schenck ^" & Courtney & to visit 
Castle Garden. . . . 

28 Robert B. McCutcheon and Robert Davis, of New Orleans, and 
Richard P. Bayley of Loudoun County, Virginia, according to the 
Catalogue of the Officers and Cadets . . . of the American Literary, 
Scientific and Military Academy, at Middletown, Connecticut, printed 
at Middletown in 1826. The Catalogue lists Cadet Wederstrandt as 
James Wederstrand of New Orleans, but Pintard's letters, above, refer 
to him as John. 

29 His great-aunt, Mrs. Agnes (Fleming) Wood, widow of Timothy 
Wood, of New York. 

so Mrs. Peter H. Schenck (Harriet Courtney), sister of Thomas L. 
Servoss's first wife. 


In consequence of some services to M'' Williston, the 
classical professor in the Academy, he has taken my 3 
g[ran]dsons under his immediate tuition, & I have de- 
sired him to extend the same favour to J. Wederstrandt. 
By this arrangement I hope that our youths will make 
greater proficiency in the languages. ... I am more & 
more impressed in favour of these field exercises. The 
fatigue the Cadets endured on the 4*'' could not have been 
sustained by any of our town school boys. I again repeat 
that the carriage & deportment of the Cadets does credit 
to Cap* P's system. 

Thurs^ [sic for Friday, July] 7th (10 o'clock) Just 
as I had traced these lines I received a very handsome 
note from Col. Wetmore, accompanied with an elegant 
medal, bearing the Arms of the Corps of National Guard, 
w^ I have answered, instanter, returning my thanks & 
promising to preserve & transmit it as an Heir Loom to 
my eldest g'^son J. P. D., Cadet &ca. & who if spared till 
the Centennial Ann^ of Am. Independence 1876, will re- 
call the incidents of the 4*'' July, 1826, and the kind 
attentions & hospitality of the Corps of N[ational] 
G[uard] to the Cadets. The medal is elegantly executed 
on Gilt Metal, with a gold foliage border, the seal on one 
side, Reverse 'To J. P., LL.D., from the National Guard 
Prosper Wetmore Colonel, 4**^ July 1826." Three only of 
these medals were struck, one for the Governor, one for 
the Mayor, & one for your humble father. Except by 
suggesting the propriety of founding a Military Library & 
contributing thereto, I know [not] what services c*^ have 
merited this honourable testimony. 

By the Boston papers this morn^ we learn, that old 
President John Adams died in his 92 year at 6 p. m. on 
the 4*'' of July, an honourable exit on the 50*'' Year after 
signing that Declaration which made us an independent 
nation & secured the Rights of Civil & Religious Liberty 
to the existing generations of that period & millions yet 
unborn. Sic transit Gloria mundi. 

Sat^ S*''. 9 a. m. A most remarkable coincidence. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 283 

Tho^ Jefferson died also on the 4^^ at 1 P. M. M^ CarroU 
only survives. 

[Addressed by the ship] Niagara 

New York, 11*^ July, 1826 

The Niagara detained till tomorrow affords me the 
oppo[rtunity] of sending an add[itiona]l line, to ac- 
knowledge rec* of y' letters of 20''' June by the Russell, 
also from M"" Servoss who we certainly expected by this 

The Talmas destination is altered to Havre. I must 
therefore write hereafter by mail, as intercourse by sea is 
drawing to a close. I rejoice to hear that the Infirmary 
succeeds so well & hope that the Doctor will silently glide 
as you express [it] into his friend Doctor Randolphs best 
practice. How grateful we ought to be to our heavenly 
Father, for crowning y"" good husbands efforts with suc- 
cess to enable him to educate his sons who will one day I 
firmly believe, if spared, be your pride & boast, & repay 
all y"" exertions. ... I have this inst (11 o'clock) rec*^ y"" 
letter of 2P' May by M'' Palmer. He goes on in a day or 
two to Connec* & returns to this city, when I told him that 
Sister w*^ wait on his lady. . . . M'^^ Palmer is quite 
hearty after her long journey. . . . 

Tomorrow the Corporation pay a tribute of respect to 
the Memories of Adams & Jefferson. The military uni- 
form corps will join the procession to the Middle Dutch 
Church where a sermon or address will be delivered by the 
Rev. D"" Rowan. What a succession of processions & pa- 
rades distinguish this proud metropolis. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Niagara 
ll*'' July 


New York, Friday 14 July, 1826 

Riding home yest^ in comp^ with M"" Morris Robin- 
son, He told me that Beverley Chew was dissatisfied at 
Jamaica, & wished to go to Middletown, He enquired 
whether they prepared boys for College. I gave my opin- 
ion in favour of M"" Williston, but as his parents knew 
that y" boys were there, & had probably seen Cap* Par- 
tridges prospectus & as his Uncles, esp^ M"" John Duer are 
competent judges, I did [not] say anything further than 
that my sentiments were manifested by the selection of 
this Academy for my g'^sons, of whose proficiency I sh'* 
be a better judge next August. . . . 

We have now gone thro' all our processions, it is to be 
hoped. The funeral parade for Saints Adams & Jefferson 
took place on Wed^ an extreme hot day. The route was 
long, the march to a funeral dirge extremely tedious, & 
the assemblage in an overflowing Church was a complete 
Steam bath. I was wise enough to remain quiet in my 
office. It was all well enough & an appropriate tribute 
of respect to the memories of two of our most eminent 
revolutionary patriots. But for myself, the close of the 
half century affords a proper pause to any future exer- 
tions on my part, and sh*^ I survive, except in the instance 
of M'' Jays decease w** cannot be distant, & any peculiar 
distinction paid to him as president of the Am. Bible 
Societies, & for his eminent public services, I shall reli- 
giously refrain, either in getting up or participating in any 
public shows. I have had a full swing & performed a 
full share for at least 40 years, & shall now chaunt my 
Requiem. . . . 

Tuesday [July] 18. A succession of mild rains almost 
daily has quite restored rapid vegetation. The effects be- 
gin to be experienced in our vegetables, w*" have been 
hitherto very scarce & extravagantly high. The Chan- 
cellor is hourly expected & may arrive before the 
Azelia. . . . 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 285 

New York, Thurs'' 20*'' July, 1826 
My last of 18''' inst. was by mail. This is intended to 
go by the Arethusa to acknowledge rec* of my beloved 
daughters letter of 29*'' June, rec** this morn^ by the Chan- 
cellor. It distresses me to hear of the feeble state of my 
tender delicate Turtle Dove.^^ I hope that the flexibility 
of her frame may be owing, as her Father thinks, to her 
rapid growth, ... A friend whom I very highly esteem 
who has been much associated with me in charitable & 
benevolent Institutions, and is a real pious man, M"" John 
E. Hyde a Broker, has been overwhelmed by the prostra- 
tion of some of the gambling Insurance Bond com- 
p[anie]s. His intelligence & character stood high. When 
I called on him yest^ to express my sincere sympathy, as 
well as surprize at his catastrophe. He assured me that 
the Blow fell all at once, & that the day before he stopped 
he felt as secure as ever he did in his life. But he sub- 
mits with Xt° resignation & kisses the rod a second time 
in his life, once as a hardware dealer just after the late 
war, now as a Broker. He has an amiable wife & a large 
family of children, and many friends. 

You will be surprized to hear me say, that the Back 
building, w" ought to have been completed, is not yet 
touched. I mean now to arrest all proceedings till M"" 
S[ervoss] arrives. He ought to have something to say 
about it, possibly under existing circumstances, he may 
not be inclined to erect it this season. We can do with- 
out it, but my personal accommod° will be abridged. My 
books worry me, & all useless, perhaps damaged for they 
have been in Boxes more than 2 years. Many of them 
are valuable, none trifling. So let it pass till M"" S. 
comes. . . . 

Friday [July] 2V\ ... I have mentioned the great 
convulsion in our monied institutions. The run on the 
Fulton & Tradesmans B[an]ks has subsided but they are 
far from solvent, altho' they may redeem their notes. 

81 Louise Pintard Davidson. 


Individuals are very great sufferers, by the Bond issuing 
oflBces, some have lost their all. Whether this alarm will 
check applications for Incorporations remains to be seen, 
but a mania for speculation has pervaded the whole com- 
munity. Good will grow out of evil. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Brig Arethusa 

New York, Monday 24*'" July, 1826 

This day my dear little g'^son completes his first year. 
Brave & hearty, thank God, walks almost alone, but does 
not talk at all, tho' very significant with his exclamations 
& gestures, & understands everything that is addressed to 
him. He has cut his 8*^ tooth yest^. . . . 

Wed^ 26'*' 101/2 A. M. Long looked for come at last. 
The Azelia has arrived, & M"" Servoss' name appears 
among the long list of passengers on the Bulletin. . . . 

Thur^ 27*''. Yest^ afternoon, we all went down en 
famille to welcome the arrival of M"" Servoss, who looks 
better than I ever saw him. After passing an hour & a 
half, Mother & myself returned home, leaving Sister, 
babe & nurse at the Quarantine. It is possible that the 
passengers of the Azelia, all perfectly healthy, may be 
permitted to come to town this afternoon, otherwise to- 
morrow morn^ certain. The report published in your 
papers of 2 deaths by yellow fever, may interfere with 
the former indulgence. On reaching home I immed^ sent 
a letter for Lady Kitty Nelson,^- no doubt from one of 
her daughters. The servant returned with the melan- 
cholly intelligence that she was a corpse, having died 
on the 26*^ after a short illness of affection of the bowels, 
at present very prevalent in this city. It was on Sun- 
day, IG**", when she was at Church, that your Mother 
remarked how well M""^ Nelson looked & how erect she 
walked for her age (74). She certainly appeared as 
tho' she might have lived to four-score. Of her it may 
be truly said, "few & evil have been the days of my 

32 Catherine (Alexander) Duer Neilson, widow of William Duer and 
of William Neilson. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 287 

pilgrimage." In her youth as the daughter of L*^ Stir- 
ling, she was at the very head of society. She was 
moreover blooming & handsome. Her father William 
Alexander sacrificed a splendid fortune in pursuit of 
an empty title, in which after all he did not succeed, 
so as to render him an acknowledged peer of Scot- 
land. His claim was a fair one, but for lack of further 
resources, after spending an emple estate, was not prose- 
cuted, before the House of Lords to effect, & some ob- 
scure descendant of the Alexander family received the 
Title, which L*^ Sterling always bore thro' life, & his 
daughters were entitled Lady Mary Watts & Lady Kitty 
Duer. She was a very amiable lady dignified in her de- 
portment & gentle in her manners. 

"How loved, how honoured once avails thee not; 
To whom related, or by whom begot; 
A heap of dust alone remains of thee, 
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be." 

The remains of M"^ N. are to be deposited in the family 
Tomb of the Robinsons in S*' Thomas' Cemetery, this 
af t.noon. Out of respect to y"" esteemed friends M""^ Chew 
& M''^ Smith, I shall attend the funeral. I hope that the 
confinement of the former will have passed safely over, so 
as to enable her delicate frame to sustain the shock of this 
unexpected bereavement. Dear Lady, while she is rejoic- 
ing probably, on the birth of a child, Her venerable par- 
ent has returned to her kindred dust. . . . Their dear 
Mother was a pious Xt° w*" ought to prove a balm of 
consolation to their distressed agonizing hearts. . . . 

New York, Friday, 28*'^ July, 1826 

.... 12 o'clock. The Azelias passengers have not 
come up. The delay is unpleasant. . . . 

Yest^ the Rev. M"" Shedd called on me to consult about 
soliciting subscriptions for a Mariners Church in N[ew] 
0[rleans]. The period of the year is unfavourable, but 
he appears disposed to begin. God speed him. I shall 


give him my mite. . . . Dysentery prevails & somewhat 
fatally, in this city. I am obliged to be very careful of 
my diet, to avoid irritation, & shall wear my flannel 
henceforward, as we have had great changes in our 
weather throughout this month. . . . 

3 o'clock p. m. Our folks have got up & are at home 
by this time. Arthur goes over to Brooklyn, to get the 
Box of plants, which I hope to find safe at home on my 
return from the Savings Bank. . . . 

Satur'' 29**'. I had the pleasure of finding your ami- 
able friend Miss Chew, on my return home last ev^. She 
is all that you describe her & expressed herself in the 
highest & warmest terms of my dear N. Orleans family. 
She will I hope be very intimate with us. Beverley ac- 
companied her. A fine manly youth, & exceedingly im- 
proved by his visit home. He is at an excellent Academy, 
but c*^ have wished to have been with our Cadets. . . . 
The Cape Jessamy arrived safe in high order, as fresh & 
healthy probably as when shipped. Sister will get a hand- 
some Tub for it & I hope it will be preserved for you to 
see whenever you may be able to visit Sister. The Slips 
did not succeed. M"" Servoss is quite pleased with the 
house, & approves of the intended Back building w'' is to 
be commenced next week. 

[Addressed by:] Brig Arethusa 
N. Y. 29^^^ July 

New York, Tuesday P* Aug* 1826 

I wrote by the Arethusa on the 29*'' & by mail on the 
27*'' July to advise the safe arrival of M"" Servoss. . . . 

M"" S. informs me that the Doctor contemplates pur- 
chasing the House in which you live, the price $3500, if 
agreed upon, must be very reasonable, as the Lot is large, 
& the Building tho' old, is by Sisters representation very 
accommodating & comfortable. ... If the House be old 
& not modern, it may with care last many years, & the 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 289 

estimate of the Carpenter that $500 will make it comfor- 
table, is quite moderate. . . . Miss Chew gives a delight- 
ful description of your society, of w"" she says you are the 
life & soul, respected & beloved. . . . 

Wed^ 2^. We are favoured with remarkable pleasant 
weather. Last afternoon, after many delays, a contract 
was made for the Back building, to be finished by the P* 
Ocf cost $1133, it will come to $1200 all told. . . .Tell 
M'^ Chew that Beverley called in after morn^ service last 
Sunday. He c^ not stay to dinner being engaged. I pre- 
sented him with a Jubilee Medal, w*" he promises to take 
care of, as he witnessed our splendid celebration. I will 
present one also to Stanhope Smith when I may have the 
pleasure of seeing him. It cannot be expected that the 
Louisianians sh*^ take so lively an Interest in commemor- 
ating our national birthday, as the citizens of the original 
states, esp^ N York, w" suffered so severely & so long. It 
was this time, exactly 50 years when I acted the soldier 
boy, a truant from Nassa[u] Hall. What a contrast be- 
tween that period & the present, the former all desertion 
& prostration, the latter all enterprize & prosperity. 

[Addressed by:] Ship La Fayette 

To Doctor Richard Davidson 
New York, Monday 7*^ Aug* 1827 [sic for 1826] 
My dear Son, 

Your letter by mail of S^^ July, announcing the birth 
of another daughter has this day come to hand. . . . 

As a small tribute of thanks to Almighty God for his 
mercy to my daughter. Dear Mother must contribute $25 
to the S* Thomas Church Scholarship, of which we had 
talked, but this propitious event decides my intention. 

Tuesday 6*^. This day your sweet little infant is a 
month old. . . . 


I think that there is every prospect of our two fami- 
lies living happily together. Sister has accommodated 
Mama with the best bedroom in the house, southern as- 
pect, with a convenient sized room & window in it, be- 
tween the front & back bedrooms for father in summer, 
where I have my wardrobe, washing stand & all my little 
equipage arranged by y'' careful mother so as to find every 
thing I want without trouble. We have a handsome 
French glazed earthenware stove, w" must soon be put up 
for winter so that y"" mother, when disposed can retire like 
a boarder, without ceremony. . . . 

To Mrs. Davidson 

New York, Wed^ Q*'^ Aug^ 1826 

My dear Son's letter of S'"" & beloved childs of 20^^ 
July announcing the birth of a daughter & the safety of 
its mother, were rec*^ on the 7^^ inst, w" I acknowledged 
yest^ by mail. The delay of the La Fayette until this 
day, affords an oppo[rtunity] of sending this add[itiona]l 

The naming of the dear babe must be a family affair. 
Julia w^ Eliza has favoured is a beautiful name & quite 
familiar in the Stockton family. ... On Monday the 
Back building, after much procrastination, was com- 
menced & is to be finished by P* Oct^ I was rather 
pleased that M'' Servoss sh'^ see the plan, w^ he approves. 
The work will go on with all rapidity & as the plastering 
in modern times is composed of plaster of paris, it dries 
very quick. ... I leave Uncle who comes down every 
day, to speak of his own affairs. He is in fine health & 
cheerful. Next week he is to take Sister & babe on a 
visit to his sister M''^ Rose, living on the Delaware below 
PhiP a few miles. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship La Fayette 
9*^ August 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 291 

New York, Thurs^ lO**" Aug*, 1826 

.... The naming of your dear babe is to be a subject 
of deliberation this day when the determination shall be 
communicated. I concur with Darling that Julia is a 
beautiful name, & appropriate as several of our Family 
& kindred bear it. Your cousin Julia Hall Weeks was 
named after Aunt Hall, who was called after her g*^mother 
Brasher Judith, w*" being too antiquated & scriptural, she 
desired that any child named in compliment to her might 
be called Julia. In the Stockton & Boudinot Families are 
several of that name, called after M""^ Rush of Phil* 
widow of D'' R. Julia Bayard, now Washington. The 
Rev. M'' Bayard has a Julia, very beautiful. So that this 
name you see is quite familiar. Mama says I choose it be- 
cause Darling did. Be it so. We shall see what is to be 
the result of our domestic conclave on this important oc- 
casion. A good name is certainly desireable, as it is to 
attach thro' life. Some very pretty names have become 
so hacknied and familiar, & have descended to all the do- 
mestics of society, that it is difficult to select one alto- 
gether unexceptionable. It occurred to me however that 
the compliment is due to y"" husbands family, if his sisters 
are distinguished by any that w"^ be pleasing. Altho' he 
may be indifferent, still as the Father he might like to 
transmit a name of his own family. Think of this. 

Friday [August] 11*^ Yest^ M' S[ervoss] rec*^ the 
Doctors letter of 12"" July w*" he will answer by mail to- 
morrow & inform you that Julia bears the palm. Sister 
named Matilda, M' S. Isabella, I thought of Caroline, but 
changed my mind for the reasons above stated in favour 
of Julia, in w*" Mother concurs. ... I received a letter 
from Cap* Partridge yest'' informing that the examination 
is to commence on Monday 28*" inst. & continue a fort- 
night. I shall endeavour so to arrange my business as to 
attend at the opening. . . . 

Monday [August] M***. Darlings & Mothers letter of 
IG*** July by mail was rec*^ this morn°. You judged 


rightly, how happy it makes y"" father esp^ to read under 
y"" own hand writing of y"" health & safety & that of y"" 
dear Julias. She certainly indicates a fine lively intelli- 
gent mind. Why will it not do to call her Julia Servoss, 
as you are fond of double names, thus complimenting y"" 
good brother, for he is really good. Tomorrow at 6, the 
party is to embark in the early Steam Boat for Bruns- 
wick, to rest at Trenton & proceed next day to Phil* & 
after the visit to M" Rose take Princeton on their way 
back, where probably they may meet M" Bradford. 

Tuesday [August] 15. This morning a q"" past 5, the 
party left home to take the 6 o'clock Steamboat for 
Brunswick. They will arrive at Trenton at 12 o'clock & 
if not fatigued may proceed direct for Philad", to arrive 
at 6 p. m., otherwise remain at Trenton until tomorrow 6, 
& reach M'' Roses place 12 miles below PhiP about 2 p. m. 
The day is fair, after a fine rain last night to lay the dust 
of the roads. . . . For a few days past I have been look- 
ing into Gordons Hist^ of the Am. Revol", Gen^ Washing- 
tons letters, & Marshalls Life of Washington, to refresh 
my memory concerning the events of the disastrous cam- 
paign of 1776. I have made out a chronological table of 
dates w^ with an introduc° will appear in the Daily Adver- 
tiser. I will cut out a copy when published to send to 
you. Having participated in a very small degree, for I 
was a small boy in that eventful campaign, my feelings 
are strongly attracted to the incidents of that period. To 
collect these dates has cost me some reading & care 
to verify them. By publication they may be useful to 
others. It is singular, but no doubt in the usual course of 
revolving years, that the days & dates of 76 & 1826 co- 
incide. One obvious reflection makes my very heart 
thrill. The difficulties & immense labour that Gen. Wash- 
ington & hcis] army had to undergo. A motley concourse 
of half armed ucndisciiplined troops, inferior in number 
& extending over a difficcult: space of country seperated by 
intervening rivers, to encounter the corps elite of the 
whole British nation, aided by Foreign troops of Hessians 
& Waldeckers, well appointed, equipped & clothed & the 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 293 

whole concentered at the Battle of Long island. Our 
army almost surrounded by invading foes & betrayed by 
treacherous Tories. The miracle is, not that we were 
defeated, but that the retreat from L. I. to this city was 
not completely cut off, & almost our whole army, with its 
Com"" in Cheif & general ojQ&cers were not all captured at 
a single stroke. That this was not the case, can only be 
ascribed to an overruling providence, by whose will na- 
tions rise & fall, and whose interpositions were wonder- 
fully evident in numerous instances during our Revolu- 
tionary War. Ought we not to be a grateful people, & 
individually a righteous people. God grant it, as far as 
me & mine are concerned. Had I leasure, how many use- 
ful retrospects & lucubrations might I not promulge for 
the amusement & benefit, at least of the rising genera- 
tion. My mind is well stored with long & multifarious 
readings. I have only to unlock the cabinet, look for & 
digest its abundant resources. The task w'* be delightful, 
but I have not leisure, & sh*^ I have, inclination may be 
wanting. . . . 

New York, Thurs^ 17*'» Aug^ 1826 

.... This is intended to go by the Chancellor to sail 
next week. . . . Anthony Hutchings called. His year is 
up at the Academy, & he is going to finish his education 
at Princeton. I gave him a Jubilee Medal to remember 
me, & sent with a line of Introduction another to Stan- 
hope Smith. I have written to Pintard to acquaint me 
with the course of the examination, that I may be present 
when he, his brother, cousin & Wederstrandt are exam- 
ined. . . . 

Monday 2V\ Rain with a succession of showers al- 
most every day, w'" greatly impedes the progress of our 
building. The heat has been very oppressive for 2 or 3 
days. I was prostrated so much in Church in the morn^ 
that I did not go in the afternoon. At 5, D"" Carmichael 


called to see us. . . . He looks very well, has been to the 
Springs, & came round by the way of Middletown, to see 
some of his young countrymen. Marney was the first to 
recognize him & to introduce him to his Captain. A M"" 
Fox from Pinckneyville, a familiar name, preached at S* 
Thomas' in the morn^, a plain, sensible preacher, who 
says that there are 4 Episcopal congregations in y"" quar- 
ter. I have a letter from M"" Servoss of IS**" rec** this 
morn». All well & delighted sister says with her new sis- 
ter who gave her a most welcome reception. They set off 
for Princeton tomorrow, stop a day, & are to be home 
probably on Thur^' p. m. after w*" Mother is to go to Bath 
or Rockaway, to brace up by a little sea air, which she 
much requires. As to myself tho' relaxed I enjoy thank 
God wonderful health. In June on account of the heat 
I left off my light flannel for cotton & a weakness in my 
bowels ensuing, & that malady prevailing to a great in- 
deed fatal degree, I resumed my flannel undershirt w" re- 
stored me quite. But I was in a steam bath Sat^ & Sun- 
day. However as it is better to sweat than to cough, I 
submit, feeling consequently less sensibly our sudden 
alternations from hot to cold. My president ^^ & friend 
takes a furlough of 8 or 10 days to the spring ^^ on ace* of 
weak health. This will interfere with my visit till the 
1^* of Sept'' as one of us must stick to the office. 

[Addressed by:] Ship Chancelor [sic] 
with a packet 

New York, 23'^ August, 1826, Wed^ 

My letter of yest'' was despatched by the Chancellor, 
w^ has I presumed sailed, the wind being at N. W. & has 
tempered the extreme sultry heats of a few days past. I 
sent a packet containing a few articles to amuse you, 

33 Gabriel Furman, president of the Mutual Insurance Company. 

34 Schooley's Mountain Springs, in New Jersey. There is an ar- 
ticle about that resort, by Joseph Warren Greene, Jr., in the Proceed- 
ings of The New Jersey Historical Society, April, 1933, vol. 51, pp. 176- 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 295 

among the rest a paper containing the events of 1776 to 
the 28"^ Aug* the battle of L. Island.^^ I have concluded 
the sequel, till the brilliant affair of Trenton, w" re-ani- 
mated the spirits of our country, at that gloomy period 
of our affairs when Hope was sinking in Despair. I shall 
cut it out to forward by a future occasion for darling to 
put among her memorabilia. Had I known what I was 
undertaking I sh** hardly have assumed the task. What is 
reduced to a moments reading has cost me days of re- 
search. One principle object was to revive attention to 
the events of that disastrous year and thereby to call up, 
if possible, the gratitude our country owes to the soldiers 
of the revolution. The members of Congress who are 
now fretting their hour on the theatre of the nation, owe 
all their ephemeral importance to the Heroes of "the 
Times that tried men's souls." Where w"^ Congress, where 
w*^ our Independence, but for those brave men that en- 
dured hardships & faced dangers in the most appalling 
times and yet that Congress w" owes its very existence to 
the glorious acheivements of these very men, hesitate to 
award what is due to the survivors of our Revoluf" army. 
I found great difficulty to compress with [in] the moder- 
ate space that a daily paper can spare for historical rec- 
ollections, events that ought to have been more copiously 
illustrated, one benefit however I have derived, the re- 
freshing my memory with scenes, the more interesting & 
impressive as I am intimately acquainted with every foot 
of ground occupied by the contending armies. The cam- 
paign of 1776 always hangs over my mind like an almost 
impenetrable cloud of Egyptian darkness. The present 
generation know not their obligations to their predeces- 
sors. Altho' my share was very small, it was enough to 
show me the dangers to be subdued, and the dreadful ma- 
terials Gen. Washington had to oppose to a proud con- 
temptuous well appointed foe. . . . 

Friday [August] 25*^. Our folks got home yest^ at 6 

35 An anonymous communication listing events in "1776 Campaign 
of New-York and Long Island" appeared in the New-York Daily Ad- 
vertiser, Tuesday morning, Aug. 22, 1826, on page 2. 


o'clock, Sister highly pleased with her visit to & recep- 
tion by M" Rose, & M'' Servoss gratified with the Bay- 
ard family, where they arrived on Monday ev^ & passed 
Tuesd^ & Wed^. Little Walky ^^ behaved manfully & is 
much improved by his travels. He threw himself into my 
arms at the carriage door, & recognized all at home. I 
wrote yest^ to our Cadets that I c'^ not leave town until 
the 1^' Sept. Mama talks of accompanying me w*" w*^ 
make my visit more pleasant. The difi&culty is where to 
find quarters for the 2 Inns, are one execrable, the other 
not much better. M" Francis where I staid before keeps 
a boarding school for young ladies w*" w*^ make it perhaps 
unpleasant for Mother, However I shall consult with her 
this afternoon, & as she may decide write to M"" F. or not. 
I mentioned to Capt. Partridge that good accommoda- 
tions were essential for the parents & friends of the Ca- 
dets. Unsuccessful in a former experiment to establish 
a genteel Hotel, the inhabitants do not like to venture on 

Saturday [August] 26*''. . . . Mama concludes not to 
go, as she may not be pleasantly situated & be lonesome 
when I am attending the examinations. She will prob- 
ably go to Bath or Rockaway for the benefit of sea air 
& bathing. My president M"" Furman, is to return on 
Monday from Schooley's Mountain, so that there will be 
nothing to interfere with my contemplated visit. My 
young friend Andrew Warner, with 3 or 4 ofiBcers of the 
National Guard propose attending the Review of Cadets 
on Monday & Tuesday lO^'^ & IV" Sept^ & return home 
with me next day. The Cadets will be glad to see An- 
drew. You don't know how much interest I take in their 
education. As yet I have all confidence in Cap* P's sys- 
tem, the experiment of a year must prove whether it be a 
rational one. He has promised to take the young Cadets 
after examination on an excursion to Northampton about 
50 miles above Middletown on Connecticut river. I pre- 
sume to afford them some practical lessons in surveying 
as well as diversion after their hard studies. . . . (Mon- 

86 John Pintard Servoss. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 297 

day 28*''). . . . This morn^ the examination begins, & I 
suppose our Cadets are all anxiety to acquit themselves 
well. . . . Judge [blank in MS.] proposes to attend, & 
mentioned at Princeton that he w*^ give D" Davidson his 
opinion of the Academy. I shall be glad if he does, as he 
may correct any partialities I may have contracted in fa- 
vour of Cap* Partridges system w"" encounters a great 
deal of oppugnation from the older establishments, altho' 
several improvements are adopting, esp^ as to gymnastic 
exercises, in several. The idea of disqualifying boys for 
the pursuits of industry, by tainting their minds for a 
fondness for military life, is unwarranted by experience. 

MiDDLETOWN, Thur^ 7*^ Sep., 1826 

.... I am very much satisfied with the performances 
of our Cadets, to whom I have faithfully discharged my 
duty. M"" Williston their classical Instructor under- 
stands his profession, has taken the boys directly in his 
charge & begun with them in grammar in w" they were 
very deficient. Their examination in Latin was very 
good, the ensuing quarter they will advance rapidly. 
Their progress in arithmetic is very satisfactory, having 
advanced to vulgar fractions & well acquainted with all 
the rules. Their next step will be algebra. They read 
Spanish very correctly, & will make good progress the 
next quarter as they have become familiar with Sehor 
Pizarro's method. 

121/^ o'clock. I have just returned from an examina- 
tion of descriptive geometry as it is called here, giving 
the outlines of canaling &ca. with demonstrations in Hy- 
draulics, also M'' Willistons large class on Sallust. Greek 
this aft.noon. Marney is to give me a display of his tal- 
ents in fencing. . . . 

6 p. m. . . . After attending the Greek class Cap* P. 
gave another lecture on geography, on rivers, exhalations 


&c. Yest^ was on mountains. . . . Young Davis is very 
modest & a good lad, studious & performs well, tell his 
mother sh"* you have an oppo[rtunity]. Young Mc- 
Neil, ^'^ a new comer from N[ew] 0[rleans] rooms with 
them, a likely smart boy. . . . This is certainly a salubri- 
ous situation. Notwithstanding all my fatigue & out 
much in the heat of the day, I have not experienced the 
least headach, that afflicts me so much at home, altho' I 
wear my white beaver hat, w^ I cannot endure in town. 

New York, Sat^ 9*^ Sept., 1826 

.... I am perfectly satisfied in every respect both 
with Cap* Partridge, the professors & Cadets, and am 
persuaded that your sons will profit as much or more at 
this Academy as at another not strictly professional. It 
was my intention to have visited Hartford, and I had 
packed up my trunk, having again called on the Cadets 
to take leave, & to have taken the steamboat at 10, But 
the ceremony of laying the foundation of the monument 
at Groton opposite N. London where Col. Ledyard & his 
brave men were massacred in Arnolds expedition 1781 at- 
tracted a large concourse of the circumjacent country, & 
a party of 180 from Hartford occupied the Steam Boat 
McDonnough, & that interfered with her regular trips. 
As I c"^ not go north, I took my seat in the Mail Stage at 
11 for New Haven, where I dined, or rather paid half a 
dollar for looking on, strolled about the town, viewed its 
solemn extensive cemetery, new canal in preparation & 
colleges, called on my old acquaintance M" Blage,^^ aged 
82 & at 8 proceeded to the Steam boat, w^ did not sail 
till 10, & arrived safe home between 6 & 7 this morn^ & 
found all well. M" Bradford dined with the family on 

37 Stephen D. McNeil, according to the Catalogue of the Officers 
and Cadets . . . of the American Literary, Scientific and Military 
Academy (1826). 

38 Mrs. John Blagge (Rebecca Drake). D. L. Jacobus, Families of 
Ancient New Haven (1923), I, 212; Vital Records of New Haven, 1649- 
1850 (1924), pt. II, p. 654. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 299 

Thur^, much pleased with our habitation. She is on a 
visit to M""^ Collet at Paterson, where she was to return 
this day. She staid with M""* W°" Ogden, 3 miles out of 
town. . . . 

Monday ll*^ Elegant day. My President M"^ Fur- 
man goes up this afternoon to Middletown, where he may 
arrive in time tomorrow for the review. His son in law & 
daughter Judge & M'^ Irving ^^ are there. ... I have said 
that the Cadets are quite weaned from home, one advan- 
tage of education abroad. They have not lost their love 
& affection for their family, But appear as men of the 
world, who are to work their own way through it relying 
on their own strength & resources. If spared, they will 
be fitter to turn out adventurers on the worlds wide com- 
mon at 15, than I was at 21. The old school kept boys 
too much under the thumb, w^ I knew & experienced 
as a detriment. Had my good Uncle have allowed me to 
have gone into the army in 76 I am confident that I 
w*^ not have disgraced my Uncle Sam. But I was re- 
stricted in my career. I ought not to have returned when 
I ran away from College. It was confessed that I be- 
haved with more spirit than most, if not all of our squad. 
I was very light timbered, w'" made ag* me, but I was 
proud, w*" made me hold up my head & push forward 
when others, who afterwards turned out brave men 
shrunk. I cannot to this day but lament my inglorious 
life, that it was not my fault is my only but sorrowful 
consolation. My recollections of the campaign of 76 
bring me back to a subject that I cannot forget. 

Tuesday [September] 12*'^ 

I c** have wished to have gone to Paterson today, to 
have seen M" Bradford who is at M" Collets, formerly 
Wallace. An Episcopal Church is to be consecrated to- 
morrow, to the ceremony I was kindly invited, but M"" 
Furmans absence does not permit. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship Virginia 

39 John Treat and Abbey Spicer (Furman) Irving. 


New York, Thur^ 14*^ Sept^ 1826 

Andrew [Warner] has just come in (1 o'clock). He 
is highly delighted with his excursion & speaks in rapture 
of the review, that the military exercises exceed anything 
ever exhibited in this city. Our Cadets are very well, & 
were very happy to see him. They are to go to North- 
ampton where Thomas [Servoss] was at school last year 
at an Academy ^^ much encouraged by the Boston Uni- 
tarians. . . . 

New York, Monday IS*"^ Sept^ 1826 

Yesterday P. M. Sunday l?**" my little namesake 
walked for the first time alone without fear or appre- 
hension, 1 week less than 14 months old. . . . 

Tues^ 19th Sep^ While Death is making his usual 
ravages in your ill fated country, He has been seeking his 
victims also in ours. During my late short absence I 
lost 4 friends & acquaintances, & yesterday at 8 p. m. died 
at his country seat Eastchester W™ Bayard Esq'" in his 
65*" year. He had been for a year suffering the most ex- 
cruciating torture from an inflammation of the prostate 
gland in the urinary passage. He endured all that poor 
humanity c*^ suffer. He was the representative of one of 
our oldest & most respectable families, & one of our 
most eminent merchants. He was President of the 
Chamber of Commerce, & of our Bank for Savings, the 
duties of the latter he performed with the most scrupu- 
lous fidelity. I have been long associated with him in 
the above corporations & know and appreciate his worth 
and loss to the community towards w" he rendered his 
best services and exercised his benificence. After the late 
General Clarkson I do not know a character more highly 
respected or lamented. I have just performed my last 
services to him by drawing & sending to the papers the 

4° Round Hill School. See Outline of the System of Education at 
the Round Hill School, with a List of the Present Instructors and of 
the Pupils from its commencement until this time June, 1831 (Boston, 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 301 

invitations of the above Corporations to his funeral from 
N** 6 State Street, tomorrow 5 p. m. He died AE 65. I 
am now released from any obligation to serve as Secretary 
of the Chamber of Commerce, the duties of w*" I prom- 
ised to fulfil as long as he was president, & w^ are times 
very oppressive for the paltry salary of $100 per an. I 
sh"^ have resigned long ago, but for M"" Bayards impor- 

Wed^ 20*\ . . . The Fame & success of Cap* Par- 
tridge's Academy is exciting attention & probable rival- 
ship in every quarter. A similar Institution is on the 
Tapis in this city, as announced in a last Evenings paper. 
There is room for one or more in every state, for the 
miscellaneous System of Cap* P. is eminently adapted to 
our state of society, and thousands of Boys may be edu- 
cated at home who w*^ not be sent abroad. . . . 

Thur^ [September] 2P*. An elegant day. We shall 
see hereafter whether this day be an emblem of Janu- 
ary. I have just seen your tub of butter nicely packed 
in a half barrel of salt. It will be sent aboard the Lavinia 
this morn^, I hope in time to go in the run. Stickler says 
that it comes from one of the best dairies in Orange 
Co[unty] & equal in quality to what he sent us this 
morn^ w'' was a nosegay. We have 2 small covered tubs 
holding 6 lbs each, one of w*" is rec^ every Thursday 
morn^ & the empty one returned. The butter comes 
from M"" Ellison's dairy near Newburgh & is superior in 
quality. Thus the trouble of tasting & rejecting in the 
market is saved & it comes cheaper by 3 d. a lb. It 
astonishes one to see the immense quantity of butter that 
comes weekly to this city from Orange, Dutchess & 
Westchester Counties, besides all Long island. Butter is 
the great staple article for breakfast & tea among all 
clas[s]es. The idea of restraining children from a liberal 
use of good fresh butter is exploded, & they almost live 
upon bread & butter in this city. 

There was a meeting of the Am. Board of Comm'* 
for Foreign Missions, in Middletown, on Thur^ 14*'' inst. 


at w^ 100 Clergymen were present. After the close of 
their busmess they were escorted by the Cadets to the 
Academy, where Cap* Partridge delivered an Address, 
recommending such of the Cadets who were of proper age, 
& duly prepared to attend the Communion in their re- 
spective Churches. That he himself altho' firmly con- 
vinced of the truth of Divine Revelation & Christianity 
had not, as yet, for want of due preparation attended. 
The Rev. Doc"- Spring of this City & D^ Proudfit of 
Salem in this State, addressed the Cadets, in a very 
impressive manner. His institution & system met with 
the highest approbation of the Clergy who attended on 
this occasion. I know that it will afford you gratifica- 
tion as it does me to understand that the reproach of 
Infidelity charged against Cap* P. is thus wiped away, & 
that your dear boys are entrusted to the care of those who 
respect our Holy Religion. This circumstance cannot but 
give elevation in public opinion to the Academy, & it has 
highly pleased every one who has heard of it. I have it 
direct & correct from my friend M"" Dwight, whose daugh- 
ter has just returned from Middletown & mentioned the 
satisfaction w*" the declaration of Cap* P. has afforded 
the good people of that place. . . . 

Friday [September] 22"^ 

It affords me the highest gratification that M"" S[ervoss] 
appears to be the very man with whom I c*^ be an inmate. 
He is retired, domestic, not fond of company & unob- 
trusive. He is my agreeable companion in our afternoon 
walks. We do not interfere in the least of evenings, when 
Mother & Sister chat or play chess & 1 read my books. 

Tuesday [September] 26*^ . . . Miss Chew called 
last aft.noon to take leave on her departure for Virginia. 
She has been to the Springs, Lebanon &ca. almost all the 
summer. ... I feel very uneasy by the reports of the 
new fatal disease, the Cold plague having visited y' city. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 303 

What a constant succession of maladies you are exposed 

to. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Lavinia 

with a Half Barrel 

and parcel 

New York, Wed^ 27'^ Sept^ 1826 

.... After a chilling tho' not violent N. E. Rain, the 
wind has chopped round to the So[uth] & we are swelt- 
ering with heat, being clad in almost winter attire. The 
sun has appeared to dry up our humid atmosphere & 
streets. Broadway, repaying, is a continued line of fluid 
mud, a mortar bed. The good folks of Princeton have at 
last a fair day for commencement, an important anni- 
versary in that place. It comes so late in Sepf as gen- 
erally to coincide with the autumnal equinox. . . . 

Thurs^ 28*^^ 

I am just making up my deposits in the Savings Bank, 
for my dear g'^children, & shall open an ace* for dear 
little Julia Servoss, by a deposit of $25, to be repeated 
as I can until I bring her even with her sisters & brothers. 
God bless the Babe & all of them. 

2 p. m. The Niagara has arrived after encountering 
a severe gale for 4 days, & injured in her masts & rigging. 

Friday [September] 29*'' 

I see by the papers that Cap* Partridge set out last Tues- 
day 26*^ with a detachment of his Cadets on a visit to 
Springfield, possibly Northampton, where Thomas was 
formerly at School & where he has a cousin Courtney 
Schenck. ... I am made quite crop-sick by the intelli- 
gence, for the first time, this morning at breakfast that 
M' Servoss intends returning to N[ew] 0[rleans] this 
fall. I thought him permanently fixed & promised my- 
self much happiness in his domestic company the coming 
winter. I am just becoming acquainted with his habits & 
to feel quite at home with him. . . . Sister is weaning her 
fine boy, who roars stoutly at the loss he is sustaining. 


. . . Last evening died M"" Edniund Seaman AE 82, the 
father of M" Brockholst Livingston ^^ who you know is 
a family relation. He leaves a handsome estate acquired 
by his own industry. Few men have seen so much poig- 
nant misery as M'' S. About 20 years ago, or more, a 
son settled on a farm in N. Jersey, put a period to his own 
existence & that of his wife & 2 or 3 young children. Not 
very long before this bloody catastrophe, a beautiful 
daughter, & only sister of M'^ L, then M" Kortright, 
drowned herself in the cistern of the family house in Wall 
Street. About 4 years since his eldest son by a first wife, 
John Seaman, a man of fine mind & excellent character, 
a bachelor, to whom his father afforded a handsome sup- 
port, chagrined by commercial losses, w'' were very great, 
living by himself in the upper part of the city, dismissed 
his man servant at night, locked himself up & cut his 
throat in the most shocking manner, & was not discovered 
until the 3** day. What a tissue of awful acts of suicide 
in the descendants of the same person, & what inward 
misery M"" S. must have endured. He was remarkably 
neat in his attire & courteous in his manners, & tho' ad- 
vanced in years & [sic] uncommon good looking man. 
But he was devoid of Xt° principles, of course without 
the only consolations that can support a poor creature 
thro' such a vale of misery as has been his unfortunate 

Sat^ [September] 30'". The Lavinia sailed with a 
fine N[orth] W[este]r yesterday. The Azelia is delayed 
till Tuesday. . . . M'' Seamans funeral is to take place 
this p. m. 5 o'clock. M" Servoss & myself invited as rela- 
tions. Mother & Sister will call & attend at M" Living- 
stons. An urgent meeting of the Vestry of S* Esprit takes 
place at the same hour. I shall endeavour to have it ad- 
journed as I sh^ give exceptions were I to absent myself 
from the Funeral. Our old families are very sensitive on 
this head. This being settling day in my office I shall 
postpone anything further till Monday. Last ev^ we had 

*i Mrs. (Henry) Brockholst Livingston (Catherine Seaman) married 
as her first husband, John Kortright, a cousin of Mrs. John Pintard. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 305 

a preparatory service in S* Thomas'. It is usual in our 
Episcopal Churches to have prayers on Wed^ & Friday 
Morn^^ w^ none but Females, & they but few can attend. 
My age & character justify me to communicate my senti- 
ments freely but respectfully to my Rector M' Duffy. I 
spoke to him on this head, & likewise on the propriety of 
administering the Sacrament on the 1^* Sunday of every 
month excepting the interference of Christmas & Easter, 
with both these suggestions he has concurred, and I am 
certain his people will, with myself, be benefitted. As it 
was the first occasion there was quite a numerous con- 
greg°. All of us attended. I must look into M"" Clapps 
Sermon on the deaths of Adams & Jefferson as I can 
catch a moment. 

Monday, 2^ Oct". An elegant day. Yesf I read with 
great satisfaction the Rev. M"" Clapps Sermon on the 
deaths of Adams & Jefferson. He has, in my opinion, ac- 
quitted himself very handsomely. It was a difficult sub- 
ject for a young Divine to leave the usual paths of Di- 
vinity & to treat of the political characters of these late 
eminent statesmen. He has given a fair view of the ex- 
cellence of our form of government and with him, as he 
beautifully expresses himself, "I love & venerate the soil 
of our happy country," and cherish the memory of our 
patriots, civil & military, who acheived our glorious Revo- 
lution. Your sons my beloved daughter are taught to 
estimate the blessings we enjoy, and will I am confident 
in their day, emulate the virtues of their predecessors. 
The sun, in his diurnal course, illumines no portion of the 
globe whose inhabitants enjoy so much positive happi- 
ness, civil & religious, as those of the U. States. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Azelia. 

N York, Wed^ 5*"^ [sic for 4th] Ocf, 1826 
Elegant day. The sportsmen will rejoice, for this is 
the period for the Races at Jamaica, to improve the breed 


of horses.^- As very respectable gentlemen belong to the 
Club, Gambling the usual concomitant of race grounds 
are suppressed. The race of these useful animals is very- 
much improved, not only in this but other states. It is 
too late in life for me to partake of this diversion, w** in 
my boyhood I thought surpassed every other. . . . 

Thur^ gth [-^-^ j^j, October 5th]. Halcyon day. Meet- 
ing of the Managers of the A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety] 
this p. m. always a delightful duty to me, to hear the 
numerous communications from our Aux[iliar]y So[ci- 
etiejs uniting their efforts, thro' all quarters of the Union, 
to diffuse the Holy Scriptures. Altho' their gleanings are 
small yet the aggregate contributions constitute the fund 
from which the supplies of the parent Institution flow. 

Sat'' [October] 7^^. I have just been on board the 
Illinois, w'" a few years ago w*^ have vied with the proud- 
est ships in the Liverpool trade. She is by far the first 
packet between this port & yours in point of size & accom- 
odations, & will be well worth y"" inspection after she ar- 
rives. She will sail probably the 12*^. Yest'' the job of 
sodding our grass plot was accomplished with more ease 
than was anticipated. Our work is drawing to a close, & 
our rooms will be, sh*^ the present dry weather continue 
fit to sit in this day week. A small space of our arable 
land is to be appropriated for a vineyard. I shall get 
plants next week. Sister has a spot for a Fig tree, w** 
probably will be best planted next spring & if successful 
she has the prospect of sitting, please God, under her 
own Vine & Fig tree & none to make her afraid. On a Lot 
of 100 feet by 25, there is a 3 story House, 2 story Back 
building, out office, cistern, a piece of upland meadow 
ground, a tract of arable land in different parcels, wood- 
land & coal mine, also trees, flowering shrubs & exotics. 
Can you equal all this in N[ew] 0[rleans]. 

Monday [October] 9^^ Your letter of 9*^ Sep* by 

■*2 The New York Association for the Improvement of the Breed of 
Horses announced in The New-York Evening Post, of Sept. 19, 1826, 
that the Fall races would be run at Union Course, Long Island, Oct. 
3, 4, and 5, 1826. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 307 

mail is just rec**. What are my sensations on the escape 
of our darling Eliza. . . . What must her doting parents 
have suffered during the crisis of her fever. . . . 

Tuesday 10*''. Wall S'^ is swarming with spectators to 
observe the elevating the columns of the New Ex- 
change.^^ The shafts are 27 feet in height, the bases 
about 6 feet, by computation each shaft weighs 16l^ tons, 
the 4, 65 Tons. The bases & plinths about 18 Tons, total 
83 Tons. As this is the first experiment on so large a 
scale, in this city, perhaps in the U States, I have paid 
attention to the subject. 2 columns are now erecting, the 
whole will be up tomorrow, I hope without accident. 

Wed^ [October] IV^. ... I have just despatched 
... a letter to Cap* Partridge relating to measures 
adopting here to set up an Academy similar to his, on an 
extensive scale, either on this island or on Long island 
opposite the city. He, liberally, offered any information 
in his power to promote his favourite system of education. 
I had an interview with a M"" Carpenter a respectable en- 
terprizing Instructor in this city who projects the plan, 
w*" will meet with great support & have recommended 
that he sh"* visit Middletown & see Theory reduced to 
practice, w" he purposes to do. This new Institution is a 
compliment to Cap* P. & will not interfere with his in- 
terests, for the increasing thirst for more extended educa- 
tion affords ample pupils. Many desire to have their 
children near & many more to educate them distant from 
home. Cap* P's fame is so well established & circulates 
so widely, that the Southerns espec'' will resort to him. 
... I have full confidence in the system, & since taking 
up my pen, on application, I have just recommended a 
Gentleman to send his 2 sons to the Academy, w'' he will 
do. . . . 

Friday 13*^ Oct'. ... I send a little package contain- 
ing 1 lb. Cedar apples, with printed directions, and sin- 
cerely pray that the remedy may prove efficacious to my 
dear Turtle Dove. There is plenty I presume to admin- 

43 The Merchants' Exchange, on Wall Street between William and 
Hanover Streets. 


ister a doze to any of your friends children. ... By her 
Uncle Servoss something shall be sent to reward her 
[Eliza] for her kind attention to y"" friend M" Weder- 
strandt, to whom be pleased to give my congratulations 
on her recovery. 

[Addressed by:] Ship Illinois 

with a small parcel 

New York, Sat^ 14**^ Oct", 1826 

.... This is the birth day of y"" brother Servoss. I 
know not, as he did not mention, how old. He said that 
he remarked to y"" Sister that he never experienced so un- 
fortunate a year as the past, in all his life. I am glad 
that it was not his marriage year, as he might omen that 
he had wedded bad luck. . . . M"" S. has been peculiarly 
circumspect, his losses, of w*" I know little, are nothing 
to be compared with the reverses that have prostrated 
the best establishments, not only in y"" city, but through- 
out the U States. Say nothing of these remarks. The 
constitution of y"" friend is naturally, if not desponding, 
at times gloomy. I take no notice of his silence, at least, 
not inquisitively I hope. . . . 

Monday [October] 16'^. We had an elegant day yesf 
till 4 P. M., when it became overcast. We were all at 
Church. In the afternoon Bp. Hobart confirmed about 
26 young persons mostly all Females. It being the first 
confirmation in S* Thomas' Church, it was very crowded. 
This service was very solemn. I was so much affected, 
that when it was over, when I went to shake hands with 
the Bishop, I c"^ scarcely utter. I meant to have ex- 
pressed the wish that his health & life might be spared 
long to discharge these important duties to his Church. 
The Bishop preached. He is probably the first pulpit 
Orator in the U States, since the decease of D"" Smith, who 
stood at the head & was eminently distinguished for his 
eloquence. The Doctor had the advantage of person, 
countenance & eye, over any of his contemporaries. His 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 309 

sermons were chaste & his delivery elegant. He read a 
psalm & Chapter, to my taste, superior to every other 
minister of what ever denomination. You recollect him 
well. . . . 

Tuesday [October] 17*^ . . . Last ev^ I met the 
Com^ of S* Thomas' Ch[urch] Scholarship, of w*" you 
have been informed. As the Episcopal Convention meets 
this day, at w^ every Rector is bound to report the state 
of his Church, and this being the first Report by our 
Rector M" Duffie some exertion was made to procure sub- 
script [ion] s. The whole sum is $2500 Dollars, to raise 
w" I have given in my own mind 5 years, or $500 a year, 
happily the am* paid, & this day at interest was $625, 
l^th of the whole ; this considering that we are a new & 
the youngest Epis. Ch[urch] in the city is very credit- 
able to the zeal of our congregation w^ has many things 
to do. The example moreover set by us, in this city, w'* 
I trust will be followed, has thus far succeeded, & I hope 
to be spare [d] to see the complete foundation of this 

Wed=^ [October] IS*"". M'^S[ervoss] has been treating 
your sister to several articles of House Furniture, such as 
Blue Damask for 3 Window Curtains for the front par- 
lour, & a superb pier Table. I have just been with him to 
Geibs, to look at the exact counter part to the piano 
Forte w'' he presented to her at N. Orleans, & w" he ob- 
tained with a stool & green cover for $250, & ordered 
home. Sister & Mother had been looking at one yest^, a 
very pretty one, in an auction store for 200 but Geib war- 
rants this for a year, & will keep it in tune gratis for 
that period. . . . Last ev^ who sh*^ come in but W™ 
Bayard from Palmyra, not in the desert of Asia Minor, 
but a Delegate from an Episcopal Church in that flour- 
ishing [town] to our Convention in this city. Wonders 
will never cease. His Father will think him far gone in 
Original Sin to have followed his other son from the 
Presbyt[eria]n flock. To my door was laid the corrup- 


tion of the Rector,''^ But I am free either of the praise 
or censure of Williams defection. To be serious I was 
astounded when he told me that he was a delegate to the 
Convention. I thot he meant some political meeting in 
this city to support or oppose Gov. Clintons election. 
William is much pleased with the choice he has made of 
a residence and is rising in practice. He has been in Pal- 
myra but a short year, & has outstripped a prior At- 
t[orne]y. He is made of the right stuff for persev[e]r- 
ance, & of materials to become eminent in his profession. 
He is destined to be the hope & stay of his family. A 
parson can never get rich, encumbered with a large fam- 
ily & small salary. Samuel as a political Editor, can 
plume himself that thro' the instrumentality of his paper, 
the N Jersey Patriot, the elec[tio]n of the friends of the 
Administ [ratio] n has been carried all hollow. What is 
to be his reward time must disclose. I cannot feel cordial 
towards an apostate from Federalism. 

[Addressed by:] Ship Russell 

New York, Monday 23'^ Oct', 1826 

.... A Trial of nearly 4 weeks ag* Henry Eckford 
& others for conspiracy to defraud certain monied Insti- 
tutions in this city terminated this morn^ By the Jury 
being dismissed having been 3 days without deciding. 7 
it is said for conviction & 5 for acquittal. But public 
opinion is decidedly ag* the parties. . . . Circumspection 
in granting Charters by the Legislature, & greater integ- 
rity in the administration of duty will however prove a 
happy result. 

Wed^ [October] 25*''. . . . The Chancellor arrived be- 
low on Monday, the wind was to[o] fresh ahead yest^ to 
permit her coming up, nor has the Letter bag been rec*^. 
. . . The Frances is to sail 28*''. By her I propose to send 

■** Lewis Pintard Bayard, son of Samuel and Martha (Pintard) 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 311 

this & next with y"" butter on the P* by the Louisiana. As 
I shall have frequent oppo[rtunitie]s now the packets are 
running almost weekly, my letters will be shorter. . . . 

Thur^ [October] 26. . . . Mother is getting up a 
French China stove in her bedroom, w** will make it very 
comfortable as well as of neat appearance w"" is every- 
thing to Mother. . . . The last little finishings are clos- 
ing this day, and we only wait for the walls to dry to 
sit in the snug back parlour, the so[uth] eastern expo- 
sure of which will make it warm with a very [small] con- 
sumption of coal. My last load of small Hickory, for the 
stoves, to be taken in this day, will round off our Winter 
stock, w*" I trust will be ample. But I shall know our 
gauge better next May. The Fuel department is very 
snug & compact, all under cover. 

[Addressed by:] Ship Frances 

New York, 28''' Oct^ 1826. Sat^ noon 

Having closed my letter of this date to go by the 
Frances, weather permitting, to sail tomorrow, I have 
called at Sticklers who has put y"" articles on b** the Louisi- 
ana, to go next Wed^ Viz* 1 Firkin Butter, 1/2 Bb. Buck- 
wheat, 2 Boxes Herrings strapped together, & 1 Box con- 
taining 1/2 doz. Cherry, d° Respberry, d° best Gin[ger] 
12 lb. Currants, 3 lb. Citron, for Xmas, & a Cheese. 
There are no fresh Raisins in the city. M"" S[ervoss] says 
that you have them direct from Malaga & in season I 
hope for y' pies. . . . 

Congratulate me on taking our first meal & offering 
our first prayer in our new room this morn^. It is rather 
contracted, but it occupies as much space as c*^ be spared. 
Only consider what we have done within the compass of 
25 feet by 100, the main house 25 by 60, Backbuilding & 
portal 20 by 9. It is very compact & handsome & looks 
well from Crosby St, being on a corner lot, facing the 


East & open to the So[uth] in part, light & air cannot be 
obstructed by any neighbours improvement of their 
premises. . . . 

Tuesday [October] 3P^ . . . Last ev^ young Mess" 
Chew & Smith called to see us. They are both fine very 
fine lads. Beverly has a very aff[ectiona]te heart, S. S. 
feels more strange. He has a fine person & very intelli- 
gent countenance, a remarkable fine eye, very much of 
the expression of his g^father D"" Smith, indeed traits of 
his noble features, with every indication of genius. 
Please to tell y"" inestimable friend M" Chew, that she 
as well as her sister have as much reason to be proud of 
their sons as you have of yours. ... It will be every 
thing for young Smith to receive an education in the Col- 
lege over w" his great g'^father & g'^father''^ so illustri- 
ously presided. 

[Addressed by:] Ship Louisiana 

New York, Wed^ V Nov., 1826, 2 p. m. 

A N. E. rain will detain the Louisiana, by w^ I wrote & 
sent y"" Butter &c''. The Frances did not sail till yesf". 
. . . My semiannual making up of my acc*^ begin this 
day. Our business has been very dull, but having met 
with but trifling losses the last 6 m"^ I hope that we shall 
declare the usual Dividend of 4 p'' c* w*" will relieve my 
spirits. . . . 

Monday [November] 6*^ 2 p. m. ... I have been so 
oflBce beleaguered that I c*^ not attend D"" Hosacks inau- 
gural address on opening the Rutgers Medical College 
this day at 12 o'clock. This is a rival College to the one ^^ 
existing in this city, the professors of w" threw up their 

45 Samuel Stanhope Smith was a grandson of Dr. Samuel Stanhope 
Smith (1750-1819), and a great-grandson of Dr. John Witherspoon, both 
early presidents of Princeton University (College of New Jersey). 

46 The College of Physicians and Surgeons. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 313 

appointments at the close of the sessions last winter. Not 
being reappointed and their rivals succeeding to the 
Chairs, Hosack, Francis &c. set up a new College & in 
order to confer degrees, it was taken under the patronage 
of Rutger's (formerly Queen's) College, Brunswick, N. 
Jersey. This measure, altho' not unconstitutional, is 
viewed as entrenching on the prerogatives of this State. 
However to accomplish his object Hosack is not apt to 
stick at trifles. So a College it is, & opens its career this 
day. No doubt D"" H's address will be published when I 
will send D"" D. a copy, w^ will develop the subject bet- 
ter than I can at present. Yesf Mother & Sister accom- 
panied me to the Lord's Table. How happy I feel in my 
declining days that my dear Wife & daughter are in 
unity with me on this important subject. . . . Sister is 
about giving a party to her friends on Thur^ next, w^ I 
hope will go off favourably. . . . 

Thur'' [November] 9'^. Sisters party day & an ele- 
gant day it is, mild & moonlight ev^. . . . Cap* Partridge 
called on me yesf, having marched with a squad of his 
elder Cadets on a visit to West Point. . . . Cap* P. c'' 
not tell me what may be the expense attending the pro- 
posed visit, in December, to Washington, w^ if not too 
great, & the Cadets are willing to go, I shall treat them 
to a trip, as it is my wish that they sh** see every thing 
they can during their stay at the north. . . . 

Friday [November] 10*^. An elegant day, as was 
yesf mom^ but a fresh so [uth] wester obscured the sky 
in the afternoon & eclipsed the moon at night, & went 
off at 12 o'clock with Thunder & lightening & a heavy 
rain that detained some of sisters company till past 1. 
The party went off very handsomely indeed. The Rooms 
well lit up showed quite in style. The Curtains front & 
rear, with their drapery being very tasty without being 
tawdry. They were much admired. Tea & Coffee, fol- 
lowed by Cakes & Sweetmeats, — without nuts, almonds 
or Raisins, w*" are exploded — Ice Cream & Syllabub, 
pickled Oysters, sliced Ham & tongues, placed on a cen- 
tral Table in the dining Room, the gentlemen serving the 


ladies, in the parlour. Lemonade & Wine, handed round, 
& concluding with bottled porter, were the order of the 
evening. Cotillions were danced, some young ladies, the 
Miss Schencks performing on the Piano. I cannot enu- 
merate the company, w'' sister may do & give to M"" 
S[ervoss] for y"" information. Everything was very gen- 
teel but as I do not visit on these occasions I can judge 
nothing by comparison. The attendance was in excellent 
order, & our little back room admirably accommodating 
for making the Tea &ca. Dear Mother remarked this 
more. What climbing up & down stairs was my lot thro 
life. Modern buildings are wonderfully adapted for do- 
mestic convenience. . . . 

Next Wed^ is the absolute sailing day. The arrange- 
ment of the New Lines of packets is to sail punctually 
the 1^* & 15*^ of every month. This will render inter- 
course between our 2 cities very regular, something, on a 
small scale, like the Liverpool packets. This is Cap* 
Holmes' line, probably M"" Russels will adopt a similar 
plan, in w*" case we shall have regular weekly packets, to 
& fro. I have got my business under my thumb. We 
shall resume our semi-annual Dividends of 4 p"" C* w'' 
quite revives my spirits. Our business tho' small has 
equalled former summer months and we have not lost 
100 D''^ in 6 m°^, w^ makes up, in a degree, for the disas- 
ters of last winter. . . . 

Sat^ [November] ll**". Mama is to go shopping for 
you, this elegant day. What with party, fatigue & the 
probable signs of the times Sister keeps at home. . . . 
I am happy for sisters sake & my own, that an excellent 
physician, Doctor Rogers,^'^ lives within a few doors of 
us, readily called for if wanted by day or night. I was 
worried beyond measure during Sisters first pregnancy 
on ace* of our distance from D'^ Hosack. Please God dear 
Girl that she may be as much favoured on the present as 
on the former occasion. . . . 

4^ John Smyth Rogers, M.D,, listed in Longworth's Directory for 
1826-27 at 417 Broome Street. The Pintard-Servoss residence was No. 
429 Broome Street. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 315 

Monday [November] 13*^. ... I believe I told you, 
for I am apt to forget what I write, that I picked up at an 
Auction store the exact counterpart of the handsome cop- 
per Tea Kettle, that was among the articles in the box 
thrown overboard in '23, Mother has selected some 
beautiful silks for you & darling, of the latest patterns. 
She will put them up in M"" S[ervoss]'s Trunk. I leave 
her to tell all about them. The Teakettle contains 
y2 doz papers of powder for cleaning Brass. . . . 

Tuesday 14*^ Nov. Appearance of a snow. All things 
are put on B"^ the Talma out in the stream & Fair 
or Foul day your good brother M" Servoss embarks in the 
Steam Boat tomorrow, with the prospect of lying wind 
bound at Staten island for 1 or more days. . . . 

We are much agitated about M"" Clintons election — 
if at all he will be elected by a very shameful scant ma- 
jority. I cannot enlarge on this ungrateful topic, w'' has 
quite overwhelmed me. 

[Addressed:] Favoured by M'' Servoss 
ship Talma 

New York, Thur^ [sic for Wednesday] 15'^ Nov., 1826 
a beautiful day 

This morn^ at 10 your brother Servoss left the wharf 
in the steam boat to embark on b*^ the Talma, w^ sailed at 
11 o'clock with a fair & fresh wind. 

Thur^ 16"\ The Talma got to sea 1/2 p. 1 when the 
pilot left her with a staggering wind, w*" probably will last 
her 3 or 4 days in w*" case I hope y"" good brother may ar- 
rive by the P* Dec"" as Cap* Holmes thinks he will. . . . 
I found dear active mother busily engaged in setting the 
Vaults & cellars in order for winter. We took in the only 
remaining load of Hickory wood wanting for the 2 French 
Stoves in the bed room, which was split up & piled away 
by 7 o'clock. ... I have just rec*^ a letter from M"" Ser- 
voss by the pilot for sister. . . . 

I have just rec*^ another letter dated yest^ from my 


attentive correspondent Marney. Living with Cap^ Par- 
tridge he of course knows every oppo[rtunity] that offers 
for N Y. He writes that 60 Cadets are going to Wash- 
ington & if possible to visit M"" Carroll, the last surviving 
signer of the Declaration of Independence. Col. Brown 
one of the proprietors of the N. Y. Theatre in the Bow- 
ery has given the Captain an invitation to visit it with his 
Cadets when they come to town. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship Adeline 

New York, Sat^ 18*^ Nov., 1826 
67 y" 6 m° old 

.... This day my Directors meet I hope to declare 
a Dividend. (2 p. m.) a Dividend of Sy^ p'" C* was de- 
clared, after leaving a surplus of $11,384, to provide for 
future losses, w*" is doing very well after our disasters of 
last winter. As soon as I got thro' with my Directors I 
had to attend a special meeting of the Chamber of Com- 
merce on a propos" of the Post Master Gen^ to alter the 
hour of closing the great southern mail at 10 a. m. instead 
of 2 p. m. w" w*' materially interfere with the commercial 
accommod" of this city & was objected against & a Com- 
mitee app*^ to confer with our Post Master on the sub- 
ject. My secretary duties sometimes materially inter- 
fere with my office concerns. I shall back out of the Ch. 
of Commerce next May. 

Friday [November] 24*''. Yesf" we had a fall of snow, 
a complete winters day, ''Stern Winter comes to rule the 
varied Year." This day is raw & comfortless. Thank 
God we are well provided at home, little wanting but 
these Articles, Butter, Flour, Indian & Buckwheat, all 
bespoken & to be sent home next week. Dear Mother 
spread her winter carpet in her bedroom yesf" w'' Sister 
is to do this day. . . . 

I shall look for the Cadets, somewhat, tomorrow, as 
Cap* Partridge told me that he sh"^ send them home in 
squads. . . . Thomas is to go to Fishkill, so that we shall 
not be over annoyed by their company. Sister however 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 317 

will arrange the nursery, a comfortable basement room, 
for their aceommod" where with books, Backgammon 
table & checquers, they may beguile their time & play 
their anticks without fear of being overheard. Never 
mind, we shall make out very well with them. It w'' 
gratify me sh** they arrive tomorrow to witness the mili- 
tary parade on the anniv^ of the Evacuation of this city 
by the British in 1783, a day w*" I helped to bring into 
notice & a glorious day it was to our impoverished ex- 
iles. . . . 

Sat^ 25*". ... I have just rec*^ a letter from Cap* 
Partridge that he is to come to town with them next 
week. He writes that the expence of the visit to Wash- 
ington will be $50 to $60 each. I have replied that they 
must be content not to go this season. He likewise says 
that the Rev. M' Noble ^^ will take some Cadets to 
board & instruct during the recess. I have replied desir- 
ing to know the branches & terms & will consult our Ca- 
dets inclinations when they come. . . . 

Thur'' [November] 30. Elegant mild day. Just as 
[we] were sitting down to breakfast the Cadets arrived, 
except Pintard who c^ not get ready till tomorrow. They 
look very well. J. Wederstrandt goes on this morn^, at 
11, for Balt[im]o[re] with Cadet Riggen,'^^ with whom 
he is to return. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Chancellor 
Cap* Baker 

New York, Sat^ 9"^ Dec^ 1826 
mild hard rain 

.... In future I think it will be best as well as most 
accommodating to you, to confine y"" correspondence to 

48 Rev. B. G. Noble, Professor of Intellectual Philosophy and His- 
tory at the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy at 
Middletown, Conn. Catalogue of the Officers and Cadets (1826). 

49 James H. Riggin, of Baltimore, Md. Catalogue of the Officers 
and Cadets . . of the American Literary, Scientific and Military Acad- 
emy (1826). 


Cap* Holmes & Co. regular line of packets every fort- 
night. . . . Our Cadets will I apprehend be disappointed 
about skating, as the weather has grown daily more tem- 
perate since they went to Fishkill. . . . Aunt Helen & 
M"" Craig dined with us on Thur^ 7*'' Thanksgiving day. 
Sister & myself attended Church in the morn^, in the 
afternoon at 3, I had to go to the meeting of the Man- 
agers of the Am. B[ible] S. so that I had little time to 
spend with our friends, who went home before my return 
at 6 o'clock, to avoid the night air as Sister Craig has been 
for some time affected by Fever w'' has made her very thin 
& weak. . . . 

Monday [December] IV^ noon. I had just closed my 
introductory paragraphs of this date to go by the Azelia, 
when my beloved daughters letter of 23*^ Nov"" by the 
Illinois was delivered. You ask the price of postage for 
sea letters, only 6 cents, if the packet contains ever so 
many letters. I am fearful that the charge is higher with 
you, from a paragraph I lately saw in one of our papers, 
that the letters are sent up by the post office boat & 
charged with the regular postage w*" must have thrown a 
heavy tax on you, unwittingly on my part, for I had un- 
derstood from M"" Servoss that sea letters were alike regu- 
lated in both ports. I shall study in future to write only 
single letters to you & to send any other letters in a pack- 
age to the care of the Captain not to be put in the letter 
bag. I w'^ most cheerfully repay y"" postage, w'' if you will 
intimate he will pay & charge to me. I have ever felt 
disquietude on this head, & w^ confine my correspondence 
to the regular mails were it not for the great difference 
in time, in w'' case I c** always frank my letters. . . . 

Present my congratulations to M"" & M" Babcock on 
the birth of a fine daughter & so favourably, likewise to 
the venerable g[ran]dparents.^°. . . Papa Babcock must 
feel quite proud at being made a sire so soon. Much joy 
to all concerned. I tho't that the news might be accept- 
able to their family friends & I stepped to M' Robinsons, 
with a short note announcing the event. How much the 

50 Mr. and Mrs. John Witherspoon Smith. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 319 

families of Chew & Smith are associated with my beloved 
daughters & what a source of consolation it is to me that 
you live together as dear sisters. . . . 

Wed^ [December] 13'". I have just closed my letter 
to M"^ Servoss, by the Azelia. This morn^ M"" Schenk 
bro't me a very pretty letter from Pintard, who with his 
brother are at M""" Tellers,^^ Thomas [Servoss] at M' Ab. 
Schencks, but they are together all day. M'' S. has per- 
mitted them to stay over another week, as they have had 
no skating as yet, our season being so mild, after the first 
cold weather early in the month, the Hudson being again 
navigable to Albany & the Canal partially. Sister & 
Mother were at a large party given by M""^ Beers last 
ev[enin]g or night rather. . . . 

Thurs^ [December] 14*''. . . . Sister no doubt [will] 
give a sketch of M" Beers splendid party Tuesday ev^, 
probably as sumptuous as any ever given in this city. 
M"" B. is one of our successful Brokers, very clever, and 
M" B. & daughter very friendly indeed. Of the propriety 
of such extravagant entertainments, I have my doubts. 
The more independent a person may be in his circum- 
stances the better example he ought to set. All who re- 
turn these civilities endeavour to emulate, without the 
ability, the dazzling lustre of these costly exhibitions. 

[Addressed by ship:] Lavinia 

New York, Sat'' W Dec', 1826 
a May day 

Most ext^ mild weather. Our Cadets, instead of skat- 
ing, might almost go a swimming. We shall look for them 
next Tuesday. This little excursion will be quite a treat 
to them. . . . The inclosed was sent from M" Talbot, 
contents unknown. Poor lady, she is always complaining 

51 Mrs. Isaac De Peyster Teller (Alice Schenck), sister of Abraham 
H. Schenck, lived in the Brett-Teller house at Matteawan (now 
Beacon), N. Y., which is still standing. P. L. Schenck, Memoir of 
Johannes Schenk (Flatbush, 1876) ; Alice Crary Sutcliffe, The Home- 
stead of a Colonial Dame (Poughkeepsie, 1909). 


& fears that she is attacked with a liver complaint. She 
has more or less been a patient almost her life, but her 
spirits when she visits us are cheerful as when you knew 
her, . . . 

Today Sister prepares her mince meat. "Shall auld 
acquaintance be forgot." Keep up my beloved daughter 
these little anniversary memorials of the olden times, w" 
serve to revive family customs & the memory of departed 
friends, and moreover prove that we are not of yest^ and 
that we had hospitable good livers before us. When every 
thing was cheap & plenty, & less glitter & more substance, 
good cheer was the universal order of the day, & all vied, 
not so much in the redundant variety as in the superior 
excellence of the dishes. Every female was instructed in 
the art of cooking preserves, & pastry, as well as the more 
ordinary duties of house keeping, and so notable were 
the mistresses & grown up daughters, that no visit was 
made unaccompanied by the knitting needle, stiching 
wristbands & hemming cambric Ruffles or aprons. It w*^ 
have proved a stigma to a young lady, to have spent 
hours, as at present, unoccupied. Music was confined to 
the voice accompanied, now & then by the Flute. No 
whole hours, days, weeks & years, wasted in fingering a 
harpsichord. Perhaps there were not a dozen before 
1776, in this city. Dinner hour was genteel & late at 2, 
tea visits at 4 & home just after candle light except on 
ext[raordinar]y occasions. Some old ladies & gentlemen 
played at Quadrille, the fashionable polite game from the 
days of Pope until the Revolution, when it was banished 
by whist. I possess the Madames ^^ Quadrille table, w'' 
I preserve as a family relic. M' Vallade & Madame & 
her Mother Madame Desleau came from S* Domingo. 
They brought with them some beautiful mahogany of the 
species called mouch[e]tee, Flyblown, w^ was rare & ele- 
gant, the plain mahogany ground covered with dark 
spots. Aunt Patty has one of the armoires & Polly Cou- 
tant the other. The furniture was made by M"" Dela- 

^2 Madame Marie E. (Desleau) Vallade, widow of Pierre Vallade, 
was the second wife of Lewis Pintard (1732-1818). 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 321 

plaine, a french descendant, & a Quaker, who was too 
conscientiously scrupulous, & who refused to make the 
Quadrille table, w*" was accordingly made by another. 
He was the best workman in the city & w^ have declined 
the whole work, rather than have violated his conscience. 
Such were the characters & virtues of the old school. 
Whoever may inherit this Table I c^ wish to know & 
transmit this anecdote. Your dear Sister is determined 
to be a notable housekeeper. This week she has put up 
a handsome shoat of 170 lbs. so that we shall have plenty 
of sausages, head cheese & roasting pieces to treat the 
younkers. . . . 

(Monday [December] 18). . . . The unusual mild 
weather is evinced by Sisters monthly rose bushes being 
in full bud & blossom in our parterre, of 4 feet square, 
for every part & parcel of our domain, from the Mansion 
House to the Out OflBce, are dignified with lofty names, as 
no doubt you have smiled at being already informed. Our 
cadets have of course missed their skating, But this mild- 
ness is favourable to all classes to the poor & esp^ to 
Masons. Buildings are going on as tho it were March 
instead of December. . . . 

Wed^ [December] 20*^. Stern winter has come at last 
& the Cadets, not yet returned, must enjoy themselves 
with skating, for it froze very hard last night. At length 
I have got my books home from the Depository of the 
A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety] where they have been 
stored ever since our removal from Wall St. in May 
1824, 2 years & 7 months, so that I have had but a barren 
use of them. . . . 

Thur'' [December] 21. M"" Schenck informs me this 
morn^ that the Cadets are so delighted with their excur- 
sion, that they will pass Xmas day at Fishkill & return 
with his brother on Tuesday. . . . 

Friday [December] 22*^. Anniv^ of the landing of the 
N England pilgrims at Plymouth. A beautiful clear day 
& cool. I have to attend as pallbearer, the funeral of an 


old Friend, Major Wilcocks,^^ an intrepid soldier of the 
Revolution and a decided Federalist, distinguished for his 
writings ag* the French measures under Genet, during 
their bloody Revolution. He died on the 20"" aged 76, 
thus diminishing the number of RevoF Officers from 
whom Congress most ungratefully withhold the tribute 
of comfort due to their services. 

Sat^ [December] 23*^. In consequence of attending 
Major Wilcocks' funeral last ev^ I c'^ not wait on Sister 
to the Concert for the Orphan Assylum, & she was dis- 
appointed as I write M"" S[ervoss]. The sale of Tickets 
will yield, it is said, from 10 to $1200. The attraction of 
the Garcia ^^ together with the object completely filled 
the Church, to the exclusion of many. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Russell 

New York, 26*'> Dec^ 1826. Snow 

Our Cadets are to leave Fishkill this ev^ under the 
care of M'" Abram Schenck, & will reach home by day- 
light tomorrow morn^. . . . 

Wed^ [December] 27^'' 

This morn^ when I came down stairs I found Thomas 
arrived & to my surprize not his cousins. He says that 
Marney was poorly, & that Pintard stays with him. This 
I infer to be sham Abram, for they are delighted with 
their visit, go a riding with one or tother of the Miss 
Tellers every day, who are glad to have such smart young 
beaus, & who wish them to remain. They have enjoyed 
fine skating & sleighing & poor boys have more elbow 
room than pent up in Broome St. So let it be. I am 
content, but I hope to see M"* Ab™ Schenck who may in- 
form me more particularly. On Friday ev^ Sister & 

53 William Willcocks. 

54 Maria Felicita Garcia (Mme. Malibran) sang at the Grand Con- 
cert of Sacred Music for the benefit of the Orphan Asylum Society, 
given in Grace Church, Friday evening, Dec. 22, 1826. New-York Amer- 
ican, Dec. 22, 1826; G. C. D. Odell, Annals of the New York Stage, 
III, 291-92. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1826 323 

Mother go to a full blown party of M'^ Schencks, simi- 
lar to M" Beers. I am glad that Thomas has come to 
gallant them. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Illinois 

with a small package 


To Mrs. Richard Davidson (Eliza Noel Pintard) 
of New Orleans 

New York, 2^ January, 1827 
All health & happmess to my beloved children & 
g'^children at New Orleans. Much very much did I think 
of you all yest^. Our little festive board was spread yest^ 
as usual, but few were the guests. M"" Craig was laid up 
with a severe cold, & Aunt Helen c*^ not come. They were 
represented by Davis. M" Talbot, to whom we pay the 
respect of an invitation to dine with us, was prevented by 
indisposition. She is almost always ailing & physicking 
& the day was obscured raw & cold. What diminished 
the happiness we sh*^ otherwise have enjoyed, was the 
necessity y"" father was under of keeping his chamber, 
indeed bed, throughout the day. I arose with a violent 
head ach having passed a restless & almost delirious night 
with a smart fever. . . . 

Wed^ 3^. Thro' the mercy of God I am able to at- 
tend to my duty, my feelings better than yest^ without 
any return of chill or fever tho' a little weak. My walks 
do me service, for I am well clo[a]ked, fur capped & 
guarded about the feet to keep me from slipping on our 
icy footwalks w^ get so trampled as the snow falls & freez- 
ing at night as to render it impossible to keep them from 
ice. More retired where we live Robert has been able to 
comply with the law & to set a good example to the neigh- 
bourhood. . . . 

Sat^ [January] 6*^. The cold has be [en] so severe & 
so much ice made as to block up the Narrows. . . . 

Monday 8^^. Weather moderating. I was obliged 
to keep home yesf. Am pretty well this day, but I have 
had a severe cold. None but Thomas went to Church 


TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 325 

yest''. We had a large meet^ on Sat^ ev^ & a numerous 
respectable meeting to solicit in favour of the Greeks. I 
c*^ not be present & so escaped being placed on the Com- 
mittee. I trust that a liberal sum will be raised & more 
prudently disbursed than on the former occasion. 

Tuesday [January] 9th. I had just written so far 
yest^ when I answered a very friendly letter of P* inst. 
from my eccentric friend W" Wood who stays with his 
widowed sister M" Gorham at Canandaigua. . . . 

Wed^ [January] 10*\ Haze & Sleet. The Trustees 
of the Savings Bank meet this afternoon, the weather is 
too inclement for me to go home to dinner. The Rev. 
M' Bayard took a bed with us last night with his 2 sons 
Lewis & William. Poor man, he is now going to Canan- 
daigua a handsome town on the Canal, with a pretty 
Church w^ is vacant, to know whether he may be called. 
M" Bayard with her infant & William proceed this very 
unpleasant day for Princeton & M"" B. on the west side 
of the river with his son Lewis for Albany, where he pur- 
poses to [MS. torn] with his Uncle M"" Hallett until he 
gets settled somewhere. You know not how his fate dis- 
tresses me tho' Mother chides me, I cannot help feeling 
most sorely for him & his numerous family. 

Thur^ 11^^. A considerable Fire last night in Water 
S* from w** thank God my office escaped. . . . 

Friday [January] 12*''. No Talma. Rain & moder- 
ate. The Message of the King of G[reat] B[ritain] of 
11*^ Nov. to Parliament of his intention to support his 
ancient Ally Portugal against a threatned invasion of 
Spain, w^ step is unanimously approved by the Ho [use] 
of Commons, & w^ may lead to a war, has this morn^ 
been rec^ by a packet that sailed the W^. As is natural, 
this sudden & unexpected intelligence has excited some 
agitation. But unless G. B. sh*^ attempt to conquer 
Cuba, America will be totally aloof, & will as heretofore 
be benefitted by the convulsion of the old world. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship Louisiana 


New York, Tuesday IQ'"" Jan^, 1827 

.... Last ev^ our Cadets arrived before 6, from Fish- 
kill, all the way in a sleigh. They left that place at 8 & 
were very comfortable on the road. They are delighted 
with the Teller family, who rec^ them as Visitors, not as 
boarders, as you will see by Miss Tellers very affect [ion- 
ate] letter. . . . 

Wed^ 17*'' 14 p. 9. I have just left our Cadets under 
weigh for New Haven in the fine Steam Boat Hudson, 
under a careful Captain, w*" place they will reach at 6 & 
proceed immed^ for Middletown in sleigh where may ar- 
rive between 9 & 10. There about a dozen of Cadets to 
stand by each other. Ours went off with good spirits, 
promising to attend to their studies & to write to you on 
Sunday. They went to the La Fayette Theatre last ev^ 
& got home 14 p. 10, so that they had a good nights 
rest, were up at 6, breakfasted at 7, & embarked with 
their baggage in a Hack. I accompanied them, & saw 
them comfortably seated around a warm fire with their 
companions. . . . 

Thur^ 18*''. Intensely cold. How I regarded the 
movement of the hour & minute hands of my Watch last 
evening, as tho' they c** regulate the motions of my dear 
g'^sons last ev^. The Captain assured me that there was 
no danger to be apprehended from the Ice in New Haven 
bay as he was strong enough to force his passage to the 
wharf. As the Boat returns this day, I will call at the 
Wharf as I come down tomorrow for tidings. 

Friday [January] W^. A letter from Thomas dated 
yesf" 18*" at New Haven informs me of the safe arrival of 
the Cadets, after encountering some difficulty from the 
Ice in the Harbour. . . . 

Monday 22*^. The weather has somewhat moderated, 
altho' the cold is still intense, having got into our houses, 
it is more severely felt. But I hope that a change is at 
hand as the destitute must suffer for want of Fuel. The 
navigation is so impeded, that nothing can come in or go 
out, intercourse with Jersey is very difficult & hazardous. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 327 

Our Cadets got off at the only & last Steamboat passage 
that has since offered. A passage by land all the way, w** 
at this season have been dreadful. Indeed I had all but 
engaged their seats. . . . 

Tuesday [January] 23*^. Weather moderated with 
appearance of snow. I have just been answering a letter 
from Cap* P[artridge] on the subject of the Cadets stud- 
ies & expenses. He thinks that your sons had better 
keep up their French in private & apply their time to 
Latin & Spanish with their arithmetic &ca. Thomas lays 
aside Latin, & if he can only apply to one living lan- 
guage I have desired that it may be French, & esp^ to at- 
tend to Arithmetic & Algebra. On the score of expenses, 
shoes & what may be absolutely necessary to be supplied, 
y"" boys to have new suits next spring. Thomas had one 
when in town for visiting. All extra wants they are to 
write to me for approbation. The Captain says that he 
hopes that at the end of 3 years, the average expenses 
will not exceed his prospectus, w^ I think will be reason- 
able. The event will prove the result. . . . 

[January] 24*^. ... I have been driven to the top of 
my speed, being obliged to attend at the City Hall the 
Trustees of the Sailors Snug Harbour. . . . 

Thurs^ [January] 25*\ Bitter cold. M-" Bayard who 
had gone on to Washington to offer himself as a candi- 
date for the Clerkship of the Supreme Court of the U 
States in place of my once excellent friend M"" Griffith 
dec** is disappointed, as I see by the morning papers that 
a M'' Carroll ^ has been appointed. The office w*^ have 
pleased Aunt Fatty, as a removal to Washington w*^ have 
brought her nearer to Julia, But thank God she has a 
comfortable home at Princeton. 

Sat^ [January] 27. Quite moderate & thawing. We 
have had light falls but very little snow, so that the 
streets will soon be bare again. . . . There is to take place 
another grand Greek Ball in favour of the Greeks on the 
22*^ Feb^ Washingtons Birth day & no doubt will be fully 

1 The appointment of William Thomas Carroll was noted in the 
N. Y. Commercial Advertiser, Jan. 25, 1827. 


attended at the Park Theatre. There is no doing any- 
thing in this city, without eating & dancing. . . . 

Monday [January] 29'^ No Chancellor. On Sat^ 
p. m. I met Cadet Morse, as I was going to the Savings 
Bank. He told me that John Wederstrandt had sailed 
for N[ew] 0[rleans] and is probably at home ere this. 
The intelligence so far relieves my mind, as I had been 
looking for his arrival daily. The cause of his return I 
am ignorant. He appeared to be well pleased with the 
Academy. If he is intended for the Navy, it may be right 
for him to enter the service early. . . . Mother sends by 
this oppo[rtunity] Pintards & Marsdens profiles w" will 
please you esp^ the latter w'' is very handsomely executed. 
Write 1826 on the Back, the year they were taken. . . . 
D"" Hosack sends the Doctor an elegant copy of his ad- 
dress as Pres* on opening the Rutgers Medical College, 
w^ will please. The Doctor advanced the Fund $20,000 
to erect the Building w*" is very convenient & handsome. 
The Faculty is composed of the first rate talents, the 
school consists of 150 Students. 

31 Jan^ 1827 
Our Waiter Robert's Wife had a fine daughter yest' 
at 9 A. M. She formerly lived with M^' EUery at N[ew] 
0[rleans] & says that she tended Marsden. She is a very 
fine woman & sews occas[ionally] for our folks. Tell M"" 
S[ervoss] that Robert behaves remarkably well as he 
ought to do for he is in excellent quarters. He is very 
handy & my little namesake is very fond of Wobert as 
he calls him. 
[Addressed by:] Ship Talma 

New York, P' Feb^ 1827, Thur'' 

After wading down yest^ thro one of the most unpleas- 
ant storms of Rain & Sleet, I made up my letters to go by 
the Talma, w'' sails this day with a fair wind. Cap* 
Holmes packets have, hitherto, been very fortunate in 
keeping their fixed time for departure. ... I find by 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 329 

my register that I have only written twice last month to 
my beloved daughter. Cap* Holmes is the only one of 
the many ship owners of vessels for N[ew] 0[rleans] on 
whom I can depend for accuracy of sailing days. All 
the rest without exception, say tomorrow w*" means a 
week or 10 days. 

Monday [February] 5*^. This interval in my Diary 
shows that I have been much engaged. Indeed recording 
the Minutes of the A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety] has 
occupied all my spare time till this inst. (lU/^ o'clock). 
Sat^ rain. Yest^ fair, when Sister accompanied me to 
the Communion. . . . After ev^ service I called & passed 
a half hour with Bishop Chase, who is at present in this 
city soliciting subscriptions for Kenyon College Ohio. 
He obtained $3000 in Philad[elphi]a & hopes to get 
$7000 in this city & eastward. He is the most indefatiga- 
ble persevering successful mendicant I ever knew. He 
has procured $2000, in this city & has a conditional prom- 
ise of $1000 from a Presbyterian of this city to found a 
professorship provided he can raise $9000, w^ I have 
every hope he will do. You may have heard of my Bp. 
Hobarts violent oppugnation to him when in England 
where notwithstanding $30,000 were subscribed, now at 
interest to be applied, not in building, but in educating 
young men for the ministry. He has selected an elegant 
site, and I told him that I hope to introduce y' sons to 
him on their way home, w'* w*^ gratify me much, as well 
as to Governor Worthington sh*^ he be living. . . . 

Tuesday [February] Q^^. Still hazy & humid, very un- 
palateable weather. I have been distressed with hoarse- 
ness ever since my short indisposition on New Years day. 
I have been writing as I c"^ catch a moment, to M"" Bay- 
ard who is happy at home after dissipating at Washing- 
ton, w^ is all well en° for a visit, but must be exceedingly 
irksome to those who settled there, live during the ses- 
sions of Congress in a continued round of expensive civili- 
ties, without hospitality, intercourse without friendship, 
for what are the ephemeral acquaintances of a day? I 


have no doubt that his disappointment will ultimately be 
regarded by him as a blessing. Few are so well situated 
as M"" Bayard, at the head of society, surrounded by so- 
ciable family friends, and a literary intercourse with the 
professors of College & Theological Seminary. An ex- 
cellent house & garden & snug compact well cultivated 

[Addressed by:] Ship Tuscalosa 

New York, Thur^ IS*'^ Feb^ 1827. 

.... My time has been & is much engrossed. Yest^ 
at 1 o'clock, Chamber of Commerce, at 41/2 Savings Bank, 
this morn» to assist with memorial from the former to 
Congress, from the latter to the Legislature, at 4 p. m., 
meeting of the Managers of the A[merican] B[ible] 
S[ociety] on the subject of reducing the debt incurred 
for erecting the Depository, & tomorrow 5 p. m., Stand- 
ing Committee. Thus you see I am not idle. 

Monday [February] 19'''. . . . Yest'' Sunday was a 
delightful day. ... I attended a meeting at M' Buchan- 
nans, British Consul, with several respectable gentlemen 
to form a new Society for the relief of the destitute of 
this city, without distinction of nation, colour or religion, 
& who do not fall within the protection of any of our 
benevolent Societies or of the Corporation. The subject 
is called up by reason of the extreme suffering of many 
during the late rigorous season. The plan is plausible & 
when matured I will send a copy. Altho' I have pro- 
tested against assuming any new Society duties, still I 
was politely & aff^ invited to give counsel & the result of 
much experience. My feelings got interested by the 
association of many old benevolent friends & I have 
consented to become one of the 13 Managers, not for the 
honour, but because I believe I may be useful, as the 
furnishing Fuel, at cost, is not on my part an untried 
experiment. Nothing but my deafness makes me shrink 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 331 

from rendering every service in my power to Society. 
But in the way of counsel experience will control vision- 
ary projects. We have a number of young men coming 
on the stage of life, eminently qualified & happily dis- 
posed to render efiScient services. It affords me happi- 
ness to do all in my power to stimulate their exertions, & 
gratification to find that the Lord is raising up labourers 
in his vineyard to carry on the great works of Xf duties 
& benevolence, with greater intelligence, & activity than 
their predecessors when we are dead & gone. . . . 

Tuesday [February] 20*\ ... On the P* March 7 
p. m. the friends of the A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety] 
are to meet on the subject of wiping off if possible the 
Bal[ance] of debt $9000 remaining for the purchase of 
the Lots & erecting the Societys House. The slow opera- 
tion of a sinking Fund will pay off this debt in about 8 
years. But it is desireable if possible to expunge it at once, 
when the profits of rents will add to the resources of the 
Society. For myself I ardently wish to see it extinguished 
before my official connection with the Society ceases. I 
trust we may raise by subscription $5000 w*" will be a 
great deal, considering how much the liberal & benevo- 
lent of this city are taxed by pious & charitable contri- 
butions. The habit of giving is much in our favour & will 
I hope extend, as our population increases and the rising 
generation it is to be hoped will from their superior ad- 
vantages excell their predecessors in all good Works. 

Thur^ [February] 22*^. Washingtons Birth day, an 
elegant day for the Ball, the profits of which are antici- 
pated at $2000. There is also a Bachelors Ball to take 
place 5*^ March. It is estimated that this City & envi- 
rons will raise $20,000 for the Greeks. ... I see by the 
papers that Rich^ Stockton,^ Att^ Gen^ of Mississipi, 
died in y"" city on the 5*" inst, but of what cause is not 
mentioned. As this is not the season of fevers, as he 

2 Son of Richard and Mary (Field) Stockton. T. C. Stockton, The 

Stockton Family oj New Jersey (1911), pp. 77, 109. 


was one of y"" high minded men, it makes me apprehen- 
sive that he may have fallen in a duel. You know I 
presume that from irregular gambling habits he left his 
home with a resolution, I understand, not to return until 
his Fathers dead, [sic] unless he sh** have acquired a 
fortune by his profession. His talents were very respect- 
able. His brother Robert ^ of the Navy who married a 
Georgia heiress, is now heir apparent of Morven. Cap* 
Stockton, as he is called, is a very correct, high spirited 
officer, & when the parents of M" S. die, will be possessed 
of an ample fortune. He has built a very fine House 
near M' Bayard, with grounds handsomely improved. I 
have not been at Princeton since its being erected. I 
learn by a letter [from] Thomas, that the Academy is 
to be brilliantly illuminated this even^. Fine fun for the 

Friday [February], 23*^. Your letter by the Illinois. 
I have written to M"" Bayard the particulars imparted by 
y"" brother of the unhappy fate of M" Stockton. In error 
as he was, it is a consolation that he did not thirst for the 
blood of his antagonist. His catastrophe will be a sore 
affliction to his mother, of whose race he strongly par- 
took, as you may know. Her brother Field was wild, & 
dissipated a comfortable estate. 

Monday [February] 26*". A Mississipi Fog is clear- 
ing off with a fine warm sun. We have had quite an In- 
firmary at home the last week. . . . The approaching 
mild weather will I trust restore all to health. For my- 
self, altho exposed daily since my attack on New Years 
day, I have been most mercifully favoured. This com- 
pulsory turning out all weathers, quite hardens me to all 
changes. While others, as they ought, are attending 
splendid Balls, Concerts, & Oratorios, I am engaged in 
doing all the good I can before my final departure. It is 
among my consolations that I began early & have now 
continued long an active member of Society. Soon after 

8 Robert Field Stockton (1795-1866), who married in 1823, Harriet 
Maria Potter. Ibid., 77, 111-28. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 333 

the evacuation of this city by the British in 1783, I was 
the youngest member of the Whig Society composed of 
the surviving exiles, whose object was to devise meas- 
ures to improve our desolated city. We had everything 
to do & little to do with. From that time to this, I have 
been more or less engaged with many benevolent insti- 
tutions w*" do honour to N. Y. The So[ciety] for the 
relief of the Destitute of this City, is a child of the Brit- 
ish Consul Buchannan who takes a lively interest in 
doing good. We had another meeting yest'' 3 p. m. & 
shall meet again next Sunday at 5, when our Constitu- 
tion & By laws will be ready to go to press with the 
names of officers & Managers. I feel some confidence 
that the plan for affording Fuel, to be paid for, at cost 
will prove effectual. This is the 4*^ attempt. 3 have 
failed & we shall endeavour to profit by the errors com- 
mitted. It was to afford the benefit of my experience 
that I have united with this truly patriotic & benevolent 
institution, w'' must be the last, & for the first year. It 
is extremely difficult to resist the importunities of re- 
spectable fellow citizens. . . . 

Tuesday [February] 27. A rainy day. Poor Mother 
is still confined to her bed, to which she never takes but 
from absolute necessity. When D"" Rogers left us last ev^ 
he thought that nothing more was required but nourish- 
ment, to recruit her. She passed however a feverish, 
restless night, & was reposing when I left home. . . . 

Wed'' [February] 28. Another dense Fog, the 3*^ day. 
D' Hosack bled Mother again yest^ & applied a blister 
to her right side last ev^ w*" he says will relieve her. She 
rested better last night, & speaks with more energy this 
morn^. ... I told M"" Robinson on Sunday of y"" young 
friend M"" Babcocks appointment as Director of the 
Louisiana Bank, which pleased him to hear. 

Thurs^ P* March. Still overcast, fog & showers. I 
have the happiness to say that dear Mother is convalesc- 
ing. The blister drew favourably. . . . D' Hosack says 
that she is doing well. ... It is estimated that $50,000, 


in all parts will be raised for the Greeks. The last ev^ 
was unfavourable for the Oratorio. 
[Addressed by:] Ship Lavinia 

New York, Thur^ V March, 1827 

I stopped in at the Swords' Booksellers the Episcopal 
headquarters to hear the result of the Oratorio. It is 
said to have been the most splendid & sublime exhibition 
of the kind that has ever taken place in this city. The 
Garcia was divine, and notwithstanding the unfavourable 
weather, the audience was crowded to excess. It is pre- 
sumed that $1000 will result to the Greek fund. Dear 
Louise laments the loss both of the Ball & Oratorio. 

While at the Bookstore I observed a number of Sun- 
day School Class books which I was told were preparing 
for the use of S'^ Thomas' Church, where a Sunday 
School is organizing by our worthy zealous Rector M' 
Duffie to be opened next Sunday, & was informed that 
M" Beverley Robinson has undertaken the superintend- 
ence of the Female department. This is certainly very 
much to the credit of that excellent Lady, & setting a 
laudable example to others of her sex. Members of S* 
Thomas' Church. . . . 

Sat^ [March] 3^ . . . Yest^ the Rev. M^ Bayard re- 
turned after a long absence & went to Princeton this 
morn^. He has a prospect of a call next July to Cana- 
dagua, a hard & not sonorous Indian name, but I like this 
preservation of aboriginal distinction of places, of w" 
great numbers are preserved in our State. The southern 
names are more mellifluous, many of them beautiful, not 
so guttural & full of harsh consonants as our northern. 

Monday [March] 5^^. Dear mother has been so copi- 
ously bled, as to reduce her very much. She still keeps 
her bed for fear of over exertion. Oyster & porter san- 
gree will I hope recruit her. . . . 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 335 

Tuesday [March] Q^^. . . . Judge Bayard has just 
come to town & called & has given the particulars of M"" 
Stocktons fatal duel. He was grossly in the wrong. His 
parents, I presume, are more reconciled to the event, for 
his conduct, unreclaimable, has given them, his mother 
particularly, great anxiety & anguish for many years. 
William Stockton is going to marry Miss Dale daughter 
of Commodore Dale dec''. She has $20,000 in her own 
right, with a handsome reversion at the death of her 
mother. His father has given him a fine farm, opposite 
Morven, on which he means to build & live. He is a cor- 
rect young man. No talents for the learned professions, 
but an excellent sportsman, as well as his mate Samuel. 

Thur^ [March] 8*^ . . . M^ S[tockton] has given 
his son [William] a fine farm directly opposite to his 
own place, next to M""^ Hunters that was, so that M" S. 
has the happiness of another of her children settling un- 
der the parental wing. No common felicity. M'^ Har- 
rison's choice has been the most inauspicious. M"" H. 
gets along, but can never resuscitate. He gave way to 
intemperance from w*" he has I believe recovered, but 
lives obscure. She calls now & then, but rarely, to see 

Friday, Parson Bayard took tea & bed with us on his 
way to N Rochelle, to make arrangements for removing 
in April to Candaigua, where he will get $800 a year & 
live in genteel society, & very cheap living. Beef 3 cts. 
a fine Turkey 25, Fowls I21/2 & Bread stufi's in propor- 
tion. If prudent he may rear up & settle his daughters 
advantageously. He is oppressed poor man with a heavy 
family & a sickly breeding wife, but his parents are very- 
kind to him. 

Friday [March] 9*^. An unfortunate accident oc- 
curred yesterday at the Fire of a 4 story building in 
Maiden lane. 3 active Firemen were on a very tall lad- 
der, guiding the Hose pipe into the upper window, the 
fire raging in the garret, bursting thro' the roof, the gut- 
ter & cornice fell, knocked them all to the ground, & 2 


of the Firemen died from the injury. They are to be 
buried tomorrow, attended by the Fire department a nu- 
merous Corps about 1500. . . . 

Sat^ [March] 10'\ . . . M^ Bayard dined & passed 
the afternoon with us. Theodore Dwight Jun"" son of my 
friend M"" Dwight of the Daily Advertiser is going to 
marry a daughter of Sam' Boyd, M"" Bayard's brother in 
law, next month. Caroline is to be a Bridesmaid, & prob- 
ably Aunt Patty may accompany her, & pass a few days 
with us, w" will give us much pleasure. M"" Dunbar is 
going to marry his late wifes sister. Miss Field. M"" Bin- 
ney the eminent & successful Lawyer of Phil* has pre- 
sented his Sister, M" John Wallace, with the House & 
beautiful garden formerly belonging to M"" Cox, on the 
bank of the Delaware in Burlington, a generous act which 
will be a great comfort to his once very elegant & accom- 
plished sister. She is a remarkable intellectual Lady & 
has pas[s]ed the winter with M" Bradford. We shall 
hope to see the latter next August. Yest^ M"" Williston 
y"" sons Latin professor called on me. He says that both 
are making every progress that he c"^ desire in their 
studies. . . . 

Monday [March] 12*''. Dear Mother, prudently, has 
not gone out of her chamber. She is so much better, as 
to recall Miss Herriman, to finish some work in hand 
before she was taken ill. Yest^ I attended the ordination 
as Deacon, of one of our Theolog' Students, M' R. Whit- 
ingham,"* who, if his life & health be spared will become 
eminent in our Church. It was in S* John's Church w" 
has been beautifully improved, and is now as elegant in 
the interior as S* Paul's. I staid to join the Communion. 
At my period, an aged believing Christian, ought never 
to turn his back on the Lords Table. The Communi- 
cants were very numerous, probably 200, which with the 
Ordination kept the Church in till 2 o'clock. . . . 

(Tuesday [March] 13). . . . A M. De Ferney who 

* William RoUinson Whittingham (1805-1879), later Bishop of Mary- 
land. Dictionary of American Biography, XX, 176. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 337 

has gone to your city as a missionary, may possibly call 
on the Doctor as being acquainted with me. There are 
no reasons why any attention sh*^ be shown to him on my 
account, which must suflSce without entering into any 
particulars. Sh'^ he be introduced thro' M"" Clapp, pos- 
sibly, you can say that having no letter of introduction, 
he has of course no claim on your civilities. 

Wed^ W March. ... On Saturday I have allotted 
that Doctor Francis shall apply his lancet, as I begin 
to be giddy. Col. Troup, older than myself and squarer 
built & more corpulent, told me the other day that he 
has been regularly bled twice a year, in April & October, 
for 15 years, to w*" he ascribes under Providence the pro- 
longation of his life. This is my Savings Bank day where 
it is possible I may be called to preside, as no meeting of 
the Trustees can be held without the presence of a 
President or Vice President. This indispensible duty 
will prevent my attending the Funeral of Anthony 
Bleecker Esq who died yest^ aged 57, not having been 
long confined. He was a Lawyer & very elegant poet, 
whose early effusions once graced the columns of the Ev^ 
Post. He was an efficient Trustee of our City Library, 
and a Member of our Historical Society. I regret that I 
cannot in common with the Bar & our Society pay my re- 
spect to his memory. M"" B. was a constant at our French 
Church. But a confirmed Sceptic, until happily during 
his late illness he renounced his Errors, not from fear, 
as he attested but a full conviction of the truth of Di- 
vine Revelation. His last words were those of St. Ste- 
phen, "Lord Jesus receive my Spirit." He expressed his 
desire that his friends & acquaintances should be in- 
formed that he died in the Christian Faith. A Bachelor, 
he lead a modest and virtuous life. His malady was an 
ossification of the digestive organs as appeared on being 
dissected. Should it appear proper in the opinion of 
my physicians, that my poor remains should be opened, 
it is my earnest desire that my dear wife & children 
should grant permission. That I may be useful to So- 


ciety while I live & of service after death, is my earnest 

Perhaps I ought to write to your good friend M" 
Wedderstrandt a line of thanks for her present of a Bb. 
of Sugar, w" has been rec'^ in good order, and as enjoined, 
no doubt, without cost of freight. As however I shall 
soon have the pleasure of welcoming her very promising 
son once more on his way to the Academy, I postpone my 
intended letter until I can announce to her this pleasing 
event. . . . 

A meeting was held last ev^ at the National Hotel of 
the Friends of Prison discipline, where a M'' Dwight,^^ the 
Howard of our country, and who has made the tour for 
2 years past of all the public prisons in this quarter of 
the U States, made a most interesting Report, of the 
scenes of Villainy & Abominations existing in State pris- 
ons on the present plan of promiscuous intercourse, 
where little Devils are instructed to become great ones, 
& at the expiration of their terms turn out accomplished 
Villains. The System of infernal education is complete, 
they have a jargon of their own derived from England, 
with the depredators of w*" country an intimate inter- 
course is kept up with those of this. Solitary confine- 
ment is the only & sure remedy, w*" Mass*^ & Connec* are 
adopting. Our Auburn prison is the model, & our great 
State University at Sing Sing, on the inexhaustible 
Marble Quaries in that quarter about 30 miles up the 
Hudson, are building on this plan, which Pennsylv^ has 
also adopted. But our House of Refuge is becoming a 
preventive in the fullest & best sense for Juvenile of- 
fences. How much good is going on in almost every quar- 
ter of the Union. I did not attend on account of my 
deafness & shunning being out at night. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Illinois 

5 Rev. Louis Dwight, of Boston, secretary of the Prison Discipline 
Society of Massachusetts. [N. Y.] Commercial Advertiser, March 15, 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 339 

New York, Friday, 16*^ March, 1827. 

Last ev^ was the meeting of the friends of the A[meri- 
can] B[ible] S[ociety] which was decently attended. A 
subscription was opened to reduce the remaining debt for 
the Societys House, not far from $10,000. $4030 were 
subscribed on the occasion & committees appointed to 
call on those invited who did not attend. We shall un- 
doubtedly raise $5000, w*" will leave as much due, and 
another generous effort will I hope raise it all. This ex- 
ceeds my fondest hope w^ dared venture to reach 3000. 
Poor Father could only give his $30, w*" he did with 
hearty good will not repining at his inability to go higher. 
The day before I subscribed the like sum to the Fuel 
Fund Society, w** I trust will succeed. After all this city 
has nothing to boast of its exertions in the Bible cause. 
Considering its wealth & population we fall far short of 
even many villages, nor has your city much to boast. 
But time alone with the persevering efforts of the pious 
& benevolent, under the auspices of Divine Providence, 
can cleanse your Augean Stable. I am happy to learn 
from your brother that your Rev. Pastor ^ is becoming 
popular, by relaxing a little no doubt his rigid principles, 
w** can be done without relinquishing his Xt° duties. 
... I likewise rejoice that the Episcopal Church is more 
flourishing on w*" I congratulate the Rev. M"" Hull. 

Saturday [March] 17*^ A beautiful S* Patricks day. 
I shall go home at noon to take a touch of my friend 
Francis' lancet. My head is so dizzy & vertiginious 
that I am obliged to walk circumspectly to avoid stag- 
gering in the streets. Indeed rising suddenly from my 
seat, my head swims. Altho' it was not till May last year 
that I was bled, it is best to anticipate this season before 
warmer weather approaches. . . . 

Monday [March] 19*''. As proposed D"" Francis bled 
me (not too) copiously on Saturday, w'' I much required. 
He handles his lancet very adroitly, the puncture scarcely 

« Theodore Clapp. 


perceptible. He uses the same sort that I sent to the 

. . . Your Mother compliments her Rector the Rev. 
IVP Duffie with a certificate of membership of the Am. 
Bible So. by virtue of my subscription. This is done 
with his understanding, for he belongs to the High 
Church side. He is a pious excellent Minister. This trib- 
ute of respect will be as pleasing to him I hope as to 
dear Mother, and something like an offering to God on 
her restoration to health. 

[Addressed by:] Ship Georges 

New York, 22<^ March, 1827. Thur^ 

Dear Sisters birthday & a beautiful day it is. . . . 
My silver pen is terrible & gray goose Quill worse. . . . 

Last ev^ I attended a meeting of the Managers of the 
Society for improving the condition of domestics in this 
city, to decide on upwards of 100 applications for premi- 
ums.*^ Our Tamar will get $20 premium a Bible & cer- 
tificate and $5.53 being 1 per c* on her Saving Bank Book. 
Mary Ann will get $5 and a Bible. She has no Bank 
Book. It was very gratifying to hear the certificates in 
favour of faithful domestics. This Society is rendering 
great services to reform the character of servants of both 
sexes and if continued to be supported, will continue as it 
has already become a resort for domestics whose charac- 
ters can be relied on. Our annual meeting is to take 
place in April, when probably I may be reelected v[ice] 
pres*. I wished to decline. But wear out, not rust out, 
is my Motto. . . . 

Were my time exclusively my own, I c** devote it 
profitably for Society in promoting & exciting the zeal of 
our many benevolent institutions. Younger & more ac- 
tive persons often express their surprize & approbation of 

'^ The awarding of premiums to Tamar Felmenter and Mary Ann Pell, 
servants of Mr. John Pintard, is recorded in the Second Annual Report 
oj the Managers of the Society for the Encouragement of Faithful Do- 
mestic Servants in New-York (N. Y., 1827), pp. 16. 17. 


the energy of my mind & animation of my words & re- 
marks. Whenever I have an oppo[rtunity] I never fail 
to inculcate that faith in Divine Revelation as well as 
good works are essential to the Christians Hope. Really 
M"" P. said a young man to me this morn^, it does one good 
to see & hear an old respectable man, finishing his career 
of life, doing so much good and setting such an example 
of Faith, Hope & Charity. This was sincerely said & I 
repeat it not from vanity, but that I know it will please 
my beloved daughter. . . . 

Friday [March] 23**. After an April day yest'', we 
have another blustering one this day. The navigation to 
Albany is not yet free. Sister took a long walk yest^ 
to visit her friends M" Schenck, Beers & Livingston. 
She passed thro' the Arcade in Maiden lane on her re- 
turn, w'' my curiosity led me to view this morn^. It is 
beautiful. The shops on each side amply lighted by a 
range of skylights & it must look like Fairy land when lit 
up with Gas at night. The Ladies can do all their shop- 
ping under cover. The rents will no doubt give a hand- 
some benefit to the enterprizing proprietors. It is very 
diflBcult in this city to obtain ground of suff* capacity to 
build an Arcade on an extensive scale, but this is a very 
handsome miniature & will lead to others. Boarding 
Houses on a very extensive scale are the order of the day, 
& from the influx of travellers & traders throughout the 
summer season are very crowded & productive. The 
preparations for building are as extensive as ever. House 
rents in every part have risen, esp'' in our neighbourhood. 
The opposite corner to us occupied by M"" Eddy,^ a 2 
Story Brick building, let P* year, 500, 2^ 550, 3*^ 600, & 
this year 700 D". M" S[ervoss] knows the House. 
Nothing to be compared in extent or accommodations, 
finish &c^ with ours, not even a wood vault in front. We 
are cheaply as well as comfortably housed. Thank God 
& your good brother. 

8 Thomas Eddy is listed in Longworth's New- York City Directory 
of 1826-27 at 427 Broome Street corner of Crosby. 


Sat^ [March] 24. The immense body of snow that 
fell last winter & still covers the earth in the interior, 
renders the air quite keen & chilly. Last night was abso- 
lutely winter cold. . . . The first Steam Boat left Albany 
yest'', 22*^ [sic] arrived this morn^. The Hudson has been 
long closed this season. 

Monday [March] 26. Yest^ as I was going at 3 p. m. 
to aft. noon Church, Andrew bro't all your letters by the 
Talma of 8*'> & Lafayette lO**^ inst. Unluckily the John 
Adams grounded at the Bar, but will I hope arrive with 
the Bb. Sugar w*" I will instantly forward to Miss Teller, 
whose kindness deserves this mark of attention, for she 
was very kind & what is more the example of her excellent 
family will I trust effect a lasting impression on y"" sons. 

Tuesday [March] 27. M"" Bayard of Princeton has 
come to town, to give a Deed for my dear venerable 
Uncles place at N Rochelle, to a M"" Piatt for $600 [^c] . 
I am too far advanced to graple with it & dear Sister re- 
grets that M" S. had not a chance. It w*^ not do to wait. 

11 o'clock. M"" Bayard has completed the sale of N 
Rochelle place for $6000 payable in Stocks, at his selec- 
tion at Cash prices & this without the woodland. He 
returns home at noon quite elated. There was a period 
when this transfer from the family w'^ have caused me a 
deep sigh. But all sublunary hopes & prospects, happily 
lose their attachments as I approach the confines of eter- 
nity. Adieu dear N Rochelle Beau sejour, where I have 
passed so many happy mirthful hours with your poor 
Uncle Marsden, the recollection of which only serve to 
embitter my thoughts. . . . 

Wed^ [March] 28*\ Thank God the John Adams has 
arrived. I shall send to enquire about the Bb. Sugar & 
hope to put it on board a Fishkill Sloop this day or to- 
morrow in time to go up on Friday. I have just inclosed 
your letter for Miss Teller, to go by M"" Ab. Schenck this 
p. m. I shall pay the freight up. Tell M"" S[ervoss] that 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 343 

M""^ Manning presented her mother M''^ Schenck ^ with 
a fine chopping boy this morning. 

Thurs'' [March] 29*''. I have been excessively urged 
with the business of a special meeting of the Chamber of 
Commerce on 27*^ preparing a Memorial to the Legisla- 
ture &ca. &ca. & bringing up the Minutes w*" engrossed 
my time all yest^ & part of this morn^. In May I shall 
decline a reelection having filled the office 10 years, with 
a very trifling salary of $100 for 8 years, a totally inade- 
quate consideration for my services. ... A dreadful acci- 
dent occurred on b"^ the Oliver El[l]sworth Steam Boat 
coming from Middletown on Friday ev^ the particulars 
of w'' you will receive by the Spectator, w*" contains a full 
& interesting account of the Rev. Dr. Springs providen- 
tial escape, ^^ but the death of a valuable friend M' Lock- 
wood of his Church, who attended the ordin[atio]n of 
D"" S's brother at Hartford. . . . 

Friday [March] 30. . . . This is my day for deposit- 
ing for my dear godchildren in the Savings Bank. Their 
am* this day is $125.76 each, except dear sweet Julia, 
whose account is $75. Her Cousin J. P. Servoss is 96 by 
myself & as much more by his Father. I must get these 
younglings off my hand to make room for the expected 
newcomer in May, when I shall have 10 godchildren please 
God to provide for. I also deposit Tamars premium 
&c. 25.53, Mary Ann's premium 5 & for Margaret Mur- 
ray $10, an excellent young woman. Sister engaged yest^ 
a new waiter with excellent recommendations, who I 
hope will prove faithful. He comes thro' our office & will 
get accustomed to our ways before Sisters confinement. 

Sat^ 3P* March, A raw unpleasant day. I brought 
down with [me] a Box from M" Talbot containing I be- 
lieve an India toilet Box for Eliza one of poor Uncle 
Marsdens gifts to her, w^ keep as a remembrance & let 

9 Mrs. John Augustus Manning (Sarah Ann Schenck) was daughter 
of Peter H. and Harriet (Courtney) Schenck. P. L. Schenck, Memoir 
of Johannes Schenk (Flatbush, 1876), p. 75. 

10 See also Personal Reminiscences of the Life and Times of Gardiner 
Spring (N. Y., 1866), I, 210-211. 


Eliza acknowledge it in a pretty [letter] & do address 
this forlorn lady for y"" dear Uncles sake, "Dear Aunt," 
Dear Madam is very cold. I am the more attentive to 
her, on his account, for I sincerely feel for her solitary 
situation, & have promised sh*^ I survive, to render her 
the last oflBces w'' I shall faithfully perform. She has 
provided for paying the expenses. Her letter is in the 
Box, with the Observer & Museum. . . . Cap* Holmes 
has launched a fine new ship, the Tennessee, to take place 
of the unfortunate Chancellor, w** had to put back in 
distress with the Greek cargo. . . . 
[Addressed by ship:] Louisiana 

New York, 2^ April, 1827 Monday 

The Louisiana sailed yesf" I presume. The tedious 
John Adams has not yet got a birth to discharge, but will 
I hope this afternoon. . . . Another disappointment 
about the waiter who had engaged to come this mom* 
when he sent word that he c*^ not being afflicted with 
rheumatism, a pretext probably. . . . 

Wed'' [April] 4*''. Hazy & raw. You may judge of 
the backwardness of the spring north, by mentioning 
that the Flower borders were not prepared till yest^. 
Fortunately, William the waiter who had engaged last 
week, called to prove that his Rheumatism was not ficti- 
tious. Sister has agreed to delay a fortnight in hopes of 
his recovery, as he appears to be staid, honest, & willing. 
He is about 35. We are well off with Tamar & Mary Ann 
& wish to avoid a troublesome waiter in the kitchen de- 
partment. Sister has a most excellent nursery maid, 
Margaret. . . . 

1/^ p. 12. I have just ret*^ from viewing one of the 
completest best finished large accommodating Houses, in 
this city, probably in the U States. There are undoubt- 
edly larger, but I presume few or none where domestic 
comfort as well as splendour are so combined. It belongs 
to M'' Stephen Whitney, situate at the corner of State 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 345 

Street, opposite the Bowling Green & the side windows 
commanding a full view of the Battery, Bay & Narrows. 
It contains about 20 Rooms from basement to garret with 
pantries, closets &c^ innumerable. It was built by M"" 
George Ireland one of my directors, entirely planned & 
executed by himself in the most faithful manner & of the 
very best materials, M"" W. supplying the funds as re- 
quired without limitation, & probably the whole cost, in 
proportion to the work, cheaper than the proprietor c*^ 
have executed the work himself. M"" W. came to this 
city some 30 years ago, with nothing save his industry. 
He began as clerk in a grocery store & has risen by suc- 
cessful application of his time & abihties to become one 
of our richest merchants. I understand that he made a 
rapid fortune at the close of the last war, when he held a 
large quantity of cotton in N[ew] 0[rleans] w*" had been 
bought very low, & yielded him 100 per c* at the peace, 
so that he ought to be a Jacksonian. After all for a pri- 
vate gentlemans house I feel quite satisfied with y"" good 
brothers & was telling your sister last ev^ that I saw very 
few more snug, convenient & fewer still so delightfully 
situated. I cannot but contrast our situation with this 
time last year, & while thankful to M'' S[ervoss] am all 
gratitude to God for all his mercies. M"" Jay Pres* of the 
A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety] is said to be in a danger- 
ous state. He fell, a few days ago, & being very aged & 
infirm his recovery is doubtful. 

Thur^ [April] 5. We have been somewhat alarmed 
by the sudden indisposition of Governor Jay, Pres* of 
the A. B. S. but by accounts this morning he is recover- 
ing. With the cessation of his duty as president, by death 
or resignation, it is my intention, sh^ I survive, to with- 
draw from the office I hold as Rec^ Sec'^ of the Society. 
M"" Woolsey our Treasurer resigns next May. It will be 
difficult to find a successor, for he has discharged his duty 
most faithfully & intelligently. . . . 

Sat^ [April] 7^^. . . . When I returned home yest'' 
at 3, instead of languor & exhaustion, I was all alertness, 
& having to attend the Vestry of my French Church, I 


walked down after dinner quite refreshed, & home again 
at half p. 6. I am induced to serve as Senior Warden 
another year, until we have settled our new expected 
Minister Mons"" Varennes,^^ of whom we have a favour- 
able character. . . . 

Thurs^ [April] 12*'^. . . . The Phihstines are on poor 
Samson again, the season of meetings of the benevolent 
Societies are at hand. Yest^ p. m. Savings Bank. This 
aft.noon at 5, to attend the Fuel Committee of the new 
Society for the relief of the destitute. Tomorrow 5 p. m., 
the Stand [in] g Com[mitte]e of the A[merican] B[ible] 
S[ociety] & at 7 o'clock, the Anniver[sar]y meeting of 
the Domestic Society,^- where I shall be detained till 11. 
On Saturday will be a Jour de repos after 3 p. m. But all 
next week, I shall be engaged, & at a time when my ofiSce 
duties oppress me. . . . 

Good Friday IS**". 1 p. m. I have just ret[urne]d 
from Church where Mother accompanied us. This being 
her first attendance since her illness, she was quite over- 
powered by the beautiful pathetic Hymn for the day, w" 
you will find at the end of the Psalms in the Com[mon] 
Prayer Book. . . . 

Sat^ 14^\ April. . . . Last ev^ was the 2^ Anniv[er- 
sar]y of the Domestic So[ciety] w" was pretty well at- 
tended at the City Hotel. I had to move a resolution of 
thanks to our late Sec[retar]y M"" Jon[atha]n D. Steel, 
w*" he well merited as the Founder & persevering patron 
of the Institution, whose success thus far has mainly de- 
pended on his zeal & unremitted attention. This simple 
duty I most reluctantly assumed, as it was necessary to 
support the motion by a short address. Nothing but a 
high sense of gratitude to M"" S. c^ have induced me to 
turn orator in my old days. My performance tho' bad 
enough, was kindly complimented by a partial audience. 
The Society has done & if patronised will continue to do 
a great deal of good. I was re-elected V. President having 

" Antoine Francois Verren. 

12 The Society for the Encouragement of Faithful Domestic Servants. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 347 

declined to mount higher, owing to my deafness. I will 
discharge my duty faithfully another year. 

[Addressed by:] Ship Talma 

New York, Monday, 16*^ April, 1827 

A cold N. E. rain, widl p]revent the sailing of the 
Talma this day with my letter of Sat'' 14*^. A portend- 
ing storm prevent [ed] Mother from going to Church 
yest'', Sister however accompanied me to the Lords Table. 
... I have just returned from the French Church, where 
an election for Officers was held. No contest with us, 
there being only 8 voters. We have granted the use of 
our Church, until our new Minister comes to my young 
friend the Rev. M"" Eastburn,^^ who being disengaged, is 
endeavouring to form a new congregation. He is de- 
cidedly the first Episcopal Clergyman, for his years, in 
this diocese, & will compare with any in the U States. 
He is an eminent scholar, elegant writer & eloquent 
speaker. His person & figure are commanding. His voice 
rather feeble in some of our over large churches. Liberal 
in his principles, he is not high toned enough for his 
Bishop, but he is orthodox & pious. I take great interest 
in his success, and were I younger I sh** be a most zealous 
friend to get him established. But I am done with almost 
all new enterprizes & am well off to be so well fixed in 
S* Thomas' Church. As to hearing it is out of the ques- 
tion entirely, so that all preaching is to me alike. The 
manner I can yet see, & that is generally improving. 

Wed^ [April] 18*\ Yest^ our friend the Rev. M' 
Bayard took a bed with us, on his abandoning N Ro- 
chelle, to w^ he was much attached. He was quite over- 
whelmed, w*" truly affected me greatly. But there was no 
alternative. He hopes to get settled at Canadaigua, & 
stops at Geneva for a time, to assist in the Church & Col- 
lege. M""^ Bayard & infant stay at her Uncle Rutgers & 

13 Manton Eastburn, first rector of the Church of the Ascension. 


the children at his late brother in law, D"" Lyle.^"* Sister 
is in the midst of her cleaning, w*" prevents her asking M""* 
B. to stay with her. It is really melancholly to see so 
young a Minister, with a wife & 7 Children, seeking a 
new abode. I trust that this remove may prove perma- 
nent. The place to w'' he is going is situate on the Erie 
Canal, where every article of living is very cheap. They 
are a couple little adapted to be economical. Cornelia 
you know was the pet of her father whose hospitality 
was unbounded. . . . 

Thurs^ [April] 19*^ ... The Rev. M^ Bayard with 
3 of his children stay with us. They go on Sat^ after- 
noon by the Tow Boat line with their family effects for 
Albany @ $1 a head, where the whole will embark in a 
Canal Boat for Geneva. . . . 

Sat^ [April] 2P*. A rainy day, w** will not I hope 
prevent the Rev. M'^ Bayard taking his passage for Al- 
bany this p. m. as all his effects have gone on & his 
presence is necessary to see them safely stowed in the 
Canal boat. M""^ B. & her whole flock 7 were with us to 
dine. The babe, Caroline Frances, is pretty & very 
hearty, fine complexion & dark eye, looks very much like 
Aunt Patty. Cornelia really deserves great credit for her 
efforts. M' B. was languishing at N Rochelle, no place 
to rear a brood of children, or chance of their settlement. 
5 Girls, what a host. . . . 

Wed^ [April] 25'^ After a violent Rain & Storm, w" 
I had to encounter out & home yest^ afternoon, it has 
cleared off with a raw N. Wester. ... It is apprehended 
that much injury will be done by late frosts to the Fruit 
trees, last season being so overabundant, a scarcity may 
be expected this. . . . 

Thur^ [April] 26*\ The ship Belle w*" sailed on Mon- 

1* Rev. Thomas Lyell, rector of Christ Church, who married in 1823, 
in Trenton, Julia Ann Rhea, daughter of Jonathan and Mary (Rutgers) 
Rhea, and sister of Mrs. Lewis Pintard Bayard (nee Rhea). Mrs. Lyell 
died Julv 21, 1824. H. Schuvler, A History oj St. Michael's Church, 
Treriton (1926), pp. 211, 405; N. Y. Evening Post, July 22, 1824. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 349 

day last, by w'' I wrote to your brother, dragged her an- 
chors in the Gale of Tuesday p. m. & went ashore at 
Sandy Hook, but not much injured. This delay will 
make a long interval in my correspondence. In s*^ letter 
was one for you from Miss Teller. 

Friday [April] 27'^. li/o p. m. I have just completed 
my minutes of an adjourned meeting of the Managers of 
the A[merican] B[ible] S[ociety] yest^ P. M. with pre- 
paratory papers for our Anniv^ Thur^ 10*" May, for I 
must anticipate pressing office duties to close the present 
6 m°^ & prepare for our semi-annual meeting the next. 
This aft.noon 14 p. 4, 1 am to attend the Executive Com- 
mittee of the Sailors Snug Harbour & at 5 the Stand^ 
Com® of the A. B. S. I mention this to show how inces- 
santly my time is occupied, not to complain w** w** be 
folly, if not impious. On Tuesday I shall lay down my 
Secretaryship of the Chamber of Commerce & probably 
next Jan^ that of the Am. Bible S°. Next spring sh** I 
be spared I hope to withdraw from the Mut[ual] Ins[ur- 
ance] Office, preparatory to my projected visit to you my 
beloved child. . . . Caroline Bayard who came to town 
to attend Miss Boyds wedding called yest^ p. m. & is to 
dine with us all on Tuesday. She says that M" Harri- 
son is breaking up housekeeping & returning to her 
Father at Princeton, a tacit seperation from M"" H. A 
venal match, a sacrifice to ideal wealth, w" soon termi- 
nated in indifference & misery. M' H. had neither mind 
nor education, inflated as a bladder in the days of com- 
mercial prosperity, & incapable of sustaining himself in 
adversity. Intemperance his resource, to w" he is falling 
a martyr. M""^ H. c'^ not elevate a man in society, below 
her rank & attainments, her mortification has long been 
extreme. She has called to see Sister w" was returned, but 
it was impossible, nor c^ she wish it to keep up a social 
intercourse. Her other sisters except one, single, are 
married very well. 

Having some leisure Saf 28*** 1 p. m. after dining & 
sending off a letter for y' good brother by the John & 
Elizabeth, w** was to sail tomorrow, but may be detained 


in consequence of another heavy N. E, blow & rain this 
day. I have just rec*^ his letter by the Azelia, conveying 
the agreeable tidings of the Doctor having succeeded in 
the purchase of the House, but qualified with the infor- 
mation that M"" Bennet will give you trouble in gaining 
possession. I hope however that difficulties may be re- 
moved without the expence & delay of an ejectment and 
that you will gain possession so as to be settled before 
M"" S[ervoss] leaves N[ew] 0[rleans] w*" I find will not 
take place as soon as he expected. ... It is surprizing to 
remark the tide of emigration from the lower to the upper 
parts of the city. The loaded carts made a continued 
line of procession up B'^way yesf being a fine day. . . . 
With dear Mother, cleanliness & industry are inherent. 
She washed down, herself, the painted walls of her cham- 
ber, w'' shine that you may see y"" shadow in them, be- 
cause she c'^ not bear to be idle while others were working. 
I asked Margaret, Sisters excellent nurse, whether she 
ever saw a lady work so. She said never in all her life. 
Happily Mother got thro' on Thur'' & moved down to her 
room yesf" where she sits with her needle always agoing 
& settled before May day, backward & unfavourable as 
the weather has been. Sister prudently was desirous to 
be in readiness for her approaching confinement. If a 
right guess after the middle of May, about the time that 
you will receive this letter, w^ I shall inclose in the packet 
with the Museum to save postage, for the post office has 
set up another rule, to tax all letters that come by sea, 
where the ships sail on steam boat rivers, and as there is 
a packet boat between y"" city & the Balize, letters are 
charged, tho' put in the ships bag at N[ew] 0[rleans] 
with the postage of 96 miles down the river, an egregious 
imposition. Instead of 3I/2 cents I had to pay 50 cents 
on y' brothers letter by the Azelia this day, so that I shall 
only inclose sisters letter to him, & you must have pa- 
tience till the Tennessee gets up to receive this. I fear 
my beloved child that I have, unint[ent]ionally fre- 
quently overloaded the Doctor with postage for my 
almost worthless letters. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 351 

Monday 30"' April 

Mother & Sister have written & I shall inclose their let- 
ters with this under cover to Mess''^ Foster & Hutton, by 
Cap* Holmes consent, who says by inclosing yours fco]r 
us, under cover to him. Cap* Holmes, he will see them to 
me, thus sparing 12i/^ C*^ post^^ on each letter, the new 
& I think arbitrary order of the post master General. So 
we must endeavour to ecvalde the imposition. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Tennessee 
with a half barrel 
Box & small packet 

New York, Sat^ 5''' May, 1827. 21/2 p. m. 

.... On Tuesday P* inst. at the annual election for 
officers of the Chamber of Commerce, I declined a re- 
election as Secretary, w^ office I had filled 10 years, & 
for my services rec*^ a very inadequate salary $100 — com- 
pensation it was not — for the drudgery at time was exces- 
sive. I had resolved to withdraw after the decease of 
M"" Bayard, late pres* & have done so. A very compli- 
mentary Resolution of thanks for my useful & faithful 
services was passed & w^ I trust was merited. The busi- 
ness of the Am. Bible S° preparatory to its An[nual] 
Meeting is quite laborious. I shall resign as Sec'' immed^ 
after the decease of Presid* Jay who is very aged, above 
80, & infirm, & thus by degrees take up my freedom. 

Tuesday [May] 8*^. Fair & cool, fires comfortable. 
... I have just been (1 o'clock) to Stickler to order an- 
other Tub of Butter, w'' will be put up on Friday & sent 
on b'^ the Lavinia. . . . This aft. noon I am going to at- 
tend the Union School, w^ assembles to the am* of 4000 
probably in the park at 3, & proceed to Castle Garden at 
4, for exercises & exhibition. I think it my duty to ap- 
pear on these occasions, & altho' a Life Member, to throw 
my mite into the Annual Collection. A Dollar is my rule 
for these demands are so repeated that there must be 


some limit to my charity. Last week I gave $10 to our 
Mariners Church. I mention this not vauntingly, but to 
show to what incessant demands benevolence is subject, 
& alas how restricted the means to gratify my wishes. 

[Addressed by:] Ship Lavinia 

with a small packet 
and half barrel 

New York, IG**- May, 1827 

My last to my beloved daughter went yest^ with an- 
other Tub of elegant Butter, by the Lavinia, also a small 
parcel containing the last Museum, Observers, & docu- 
ments of our Savings Bank for M"" Gordon, w" I procured 
& forwarded immed'' after receiving the request of M"" 
Servoss, But w** possibly will be too late, as in y"* good 
brothers letter of 26**' Ap. by the Frances rec*^ just now 
I find that the B[an]k has gone into operation. The de- 
posits he says were few, but they must not be discour- 
aged. We took in between 2 & 3000 D" the first day. I 
had only aspired to $1000. Since w" we have gone on so 
successfully & have accumulated such a capital that with 
the restrictions on the mode of our Funding, we meet 
this day to deliberate on closing the accounts of a great 
number of our heavy depositors, w^ is contrary to my 
judgment, but I shall I fear be overruled. Many of my 
brother Trustees are timid, & dread the responsibility in 
case a War may arise or commotions to reduce the public 
stocks below par. This is declining to do positive good 
for fear of eventual evil. I confess I have no such dread. 

Thurs^ [May] l?^'". This day closes my 68th year, 
the retrospect of w** is very consolatory, & calls forth all 
my gratitude to Almighty God, for his continued mercies 
to me, & esp^ for having restored the health of my long 
companion, who becomes dearer & more necessary to my 
comfort & happiness every hour that we live together. 
Mother is most kind & attentive. She has indulged a 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 353 

good deal, since her recovery, in taking breakfast in 
her chamber, w" causes little trouble, and sends for me 
every morn^ to see whether her child is buttoned up & 
looks decent to go abroad, with much wholesome advice 
not to let the carriages ride over me, & to be cautious in 
crossing the streets. At which I smile, but am indebted 
to her. Indeed our streets are so thronged with carts, 
coaches & every kind of vehicle, that, for a deaf person, 
it is frequently hazardous to cross them. . . . 

Friday, May 18*^. This day I enter my 69*^ year. 
. . As usual in addition to my prayers & thanksgiving I 
read my Psalm, the 90*''. 

Tomorrow I have to render the semiannual acc*^ of 
my oflBce for w** I am all prepared. We are enabled to 
make a short Dividend of 31/2 P'" C* with a moderate sur- 
plus, not having as yet recovered the fatal blow that we 
sustained a twelvemont[h] ago. But my office is gradu- 
ally doing better business & will I trust again look 
up. . . . 

Sat^ [May] W. We are all well at home. Aunt 
Betsey dined with us. She looks remarkably well, altho' 
she has been much indisposed. M' Callender is getting 
better of the dropsey, a dreadful malady. M" P[intard] 
retired early to prepare to attend a large splendid party 
& Ball given by M"* Philip Hone on the marriage of his 
neice ^^ to Ch^ Clinton son of the Governor, a very fine 
modest young man. 
[Addressed by : ] Ship Russell 

New York, Monday 2P* May, 1827. 

This is the Anniversary of my beloved daughters ar- 
rival, on Sunday 2P* May, 1815, 7 p. m., after an absence 
of 6 years, with her 4 children, Eliza, Pintard, Louise, 
& Marsden in her arms. . . . 

15 Catharine Hone, daughter of John Hone, married Charles A. Clin- 
ton (son of DeWitt Clinton), on May 3, 1827. New-York American, 
May 4, 1827. 


Wed^ [May] 23"^ 

On Sunday M"' Schenck was put safe abed with a daugh- 
ter but suffered, as usual, a great deal, an inflammation 
was dreaded, but she escaped without fever, & is bravely 
this morn«. Yest-^ I rec"^ a letter from the Rev*^ M"- Bay- 
ard, dated Geneva 18*'' inst. His family had a most 
dreadful passage up, at the imminent risk of their lives 
on the Mohawk river, w" reminded me of y"" jeopardy 
on removing from Pinckneyville to N[ew] 0[rleans] but 
like you they reached their place of destination in safety. 
He has a pleasant retired House & garden, a pretty 
Church, good congregation & agreeable society. He is 
opening a school for young ladies. God speed him. I 
have just rec'* a letter from Uncle Hall by the Miss Os- 
goods, daughters of my late venerable friend the Rev. M"" 
Osgood who indulged me with his Society the winter I 
resided in Medford many years gone by. I shall wait on 
them this afternoon, as they express a wish to see me. 
They were young misses at that period, well educated & 
sensible. Mother I hope will call on them. Sister cannot. 
Miss McCutcheon & C" called Monday P. M. . . . 

Friday [May] 25. . . . By the Illinois, I shall send a 
journal of the Cadets tour to Washington last winter. It 
is exceed [ingl]y well written. The Introduction is a 
philosophical essay on education, with w^ I concur, ex- 
cepting the abandonment of Greek. I cannot give up my 
classical predilections from w^ I have derived so much 
pleasure & profit, in other respects the performance is 
highly creditable to Cap* Partridge or whoever wrote it. 
. . . The late cold chilly rains are to be succeeded by 
sultry weather. All however is arranged in Broome S* 
from garret to cellar & I am now preparing to lock in our 
winter Fuel w^ as far as wood is concerned, ought to 
have been done in April, but that worthless ungrateful 
Robert left us at the juncture when the vault was to be 
cleared out. All now is ready, & I am only waiting for 
the fall of price w'' is always high in May, when so 
many are unsupplied by reason of changing abodes. We 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 355 

have thus far, an excellent quiet waiter, Francis, & all 
is harmony in the kitchen. . . . Marian her maid just 
suits mother, who brings up, quietly, her breakfast & tea, 
when she is disinclined to come down. This with my 
retired habits, will leave the young folks to themselves, 
with [out] being constantly annoyed with Father & 
Mother. Our little back parlour, w** was a greenhouse in 
winter, is now a cool retreat in summer, & to me de- 

[Addressed by:] Ship Frances 

N. Y., Saturday 26*'' May, 1827 

This af t.noon I have allotted to visit professor Turner, 
at the Theological Sem[inar]y 21/2 miles distant. I shall 
ride in the Greenwich Stage at 3. I have hunted up a 
neat clean eating shop, to refresh, & where I shall if 
pleased, take a luncheon 3 times a week for the 2 ensuing 
months June & July, when I am to attend at the Savings 
Bank, for M'^ Eastburn absent in Eng[lan]d & myself. 
Our institution is too flourishing, & we shall be obliged 
to close or curtail all acc[oun]ts above $1000 owing as 
well to the difficulty of funding our deposits, as appre- 
hensions of some of our timid Trustees who tremble for 
their responsibility. . . . 

Monday [May] 28*^ . . . Yest^ I called on the 
Misses Osgood, fine sensible women, who I regret to say, 
have swerved from their forefathers orthodox Faith. 
Of my Medford friends but 4 exist, old M''^ Hall,i« 91; 
Richard Hall, the Uncle, 90, his brother Ebenezer, 87. 
M''^ Fitch, ^'^ y" uncles sister lives with the old lady & is 
very well. Your Cousin M" Curtis of Boston has as yet 
only 2 fine children & her sister ^^ & father live with her. 
M'" H. just of my age, is more infirm than myself. 

16 Widow of Benjamin Hall. Medford, Mass., Vital Records, p. 389. 

"Mrs. John Brown Fitch (Hepzibah Hall), sister of Fitch Hall 
(1759-1841). D. B. Hall, The Halls of New England (1883), pp. 319 fif. 

18 Helen Louise Hall (who married in 1832 S. D. Leavens). Ibid., 
pp. 322-23. 


Tuesday [May] 29*\ . . . This week, Friday 1"* com- 
mences my tour at the Savings B" 3 times a week for 2 
months, the hottest & most disagreeable of the whole 
year, but it so falls out. On Saturday ev^ next will 
commence our new Institution the Fuel Saving Fund, 
which I fondly hope will prosper, as we have improved 
upon the mistakes of former attempts. Poor people, in- 
deed most people, are like the Indians, who think when 
Spring comes that there will be no more winter, & are 
improvident until the cold pinches w*" awakens their sen- 
sibility when too late — to counteract this natural pro- 
pensity, is the object of our association, & I do not de- 
spair of success. ... I shall have to prepare some few 
weekly notices to caU public attention to our enterprize 
w*" sh*^ they prove but partially successful, as those in be- 
half of our Savings Bank, 8 years ago, will render some 
service to my humble fellow citizens. 

Wed^ [May] 30*\ ... I am taking in our Schuylkill 
coal this morn^ to be ready for wood as soon as the price 
falls. When this job shall be off my hands I shall feel at 
rest, being always accustomed to lay up my Fuel early. 
... I put up ... a copy of Coopers Prairie for Darling 
in w*" the Doctor will find a portrait of his countrymen, 
who like the parent stock Virginia, think that no blood 
can compare with Kentuck. . . . 

Thur^ [May] 31"'. Sister begins to think that she 
has miscalculated. With Mother she went out yest^ to 
make some calls on our new neighbours, with whom we 
ought to live friendly. In the aft.noon she intended to 
have ridden out to Aunt Helen's w'' I disapproved. Luck- 
ily every Hackney was engaged at the L. Island rack. I 
dreaded an accident. It is astonishing to see what an in- 
flux of strangers throng our streets, w** at best at certain 
hours, B'^way esp^ are hardly passable. And the mon- 
strous new Hats of the Ladies take up so much space, 
that wide as the footwalks are, hardly 3 can walk abreast. 
To look up & down they appear like flocks of Sea Gulls 
with expanded wings sweeping along the surface of crea- 
tion. Positively it requires some management for them 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 357 

to introduce themselves hats & all mto a Coach. I have 
just made up (1 o'clock) my little package & left it to 
the care of the Cap* of the Illinois. I have also paid for 
the 3 last Vol. of Am. Biography for Pintard to be for- 
warded hereafter. This closes the work, 9 Vol. @ $5, 
is 45 Dollars. I hope he will take care of them for the 
giver's sake. The Museums you promise to bind. They 
will serve y'" children in succession. Besides it [is] a 
work of pleasing recurrence, w'* in your warm climate may 
beguile lassitude. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Illinois 

with a small packet 

New York, Monday 4**' June, 1827 

I have the happiness to inform you my beloved 
daughter of your Sisters safe delivery of a noble bouncing 
Boy at a quarter before 1 this mom®. . . , Thank God 
& rejoice with me that this event is so far auspiciously 
over. At 6 this morn^ I drew my checks to constitute 
Elias Boudinot Servoss a member for life of the Am[eri- 
can] Bible So[ciety] & the same of the Society of S* 
Thomas Church for founding a Scholarship of our The- 
[o]log^ Sem=^. May the illustrious name & the deeds be 
sanctified to my infant g'^son. . . . 

New York, Wed^ 6**' June, 1827 

I wrote to you by mail on Monday, 4*'' inst. to inform 
you that your dear Sister was happily delivered of a fine 

Monday [June] 11*^. ... I am happy to hear that 
the Doctors aged parents^® were still alive & enjoying 

19 John and Ellenor (Ewing) Davidson, of Kentucky. Data in a MS. 
"Plan of a Register" among Pintard-B rasher MSS. acquired by The 
New-York Historical Society in 1937. 


health at 72 years & that you have had the pleasure of a 
visit from y"" brother.-" 

Tuesday [June] 12*\ ... I put up with the Museum 
Homes Abridgment on the Study of the Scriptures a most 
excellent Manual w*" you & her father may read to ad- 
vantage & w^ I hope she [Eliza] will study so as to be 
able to give a reason for her Faith, but avoid idle dispu- 
tation, foolish in men but pedantic & ofttimes disgusting 
in women. Father Clement a Rom [an] Cath[oli]c story, 
is beautiful & gives a fair view of the difference between 
the R. C^ & Protest [an] ts w*" in y'" country it is well to 
understand. . . . 

Thurs'' [June] 14*". Business for the Savings B[an]k 
interrupted me yest''. We have purchased $100,000 of 
the Ohio Canal 6 p"" C* stock. To ascertain the credit & 
security of the State, I had purposed to call on Gov 
Worthington -^ now in this city, but this good man is on 
a sick bed, from which it is said that he will not arise. 

New York, Sat=^ 16*" June, 1827 

My last was by the Louisiana w" sailed yesf & by w" 
I sent the Museum &c*. This is intended to go by the 
Talma on 2^ July, the 1^* falling on Sunday, w" is no 
sailing day with Cap* Holmes. The regular lines are now 
making their last trips, when our summer intercourse 
must be by mail. . . . 

Monday [June] 18*". Remarkably cool. Yest'' dear 
sister came down to dine once more at the head of her 
table. She also took tea & joined in our family worship, 
when we returned our grateful thanks for her safety & 
that of her babe who grows finely. For the first time I 
passed some tranquil hours between Churches in my de- 
lightful peasants nest, w" dear Mother has beautifully 

20 Samuel Davidson. 

21 Thomas Worthington, of Ohio, died in New York City, June 20, 
1827. Dictionary of American Biography. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 359 

arranged. The Escritoire, our family dining table, con- 
verted into a centre table, both above a century old, find 
a place in my room. Also the Madames Quadrille table. 
I have no place for my old Rev^ Congress writing desk, 
w*" with some Congress Chairs that grace the parlour, I 
hope to transmit among my godchildren. . . . 

Tuesday [June] 19*''. . . . Cap* Davis . . . arrived 
with M" Morse from PhiP last ev^. . . . 

Wed^ [June] 20*\ I waited on M^^ Morse yest^ She 
appears to be somewhat agitated about her son. I said 
what I considered proper in palliation of an eccentricities 
of a pretty ardent spirit, & in favour of his talents w"* 
are certainly respectable. An only child it is very natural 
that she sh*^ be much interested, & alive to his wayward- 
ness. You may rest assured that the unfavourable re- 
ports that have reached you, have been greatly exagger- 
ated. None of our N York friends & parents feel any- 
thing but good will to Capt. P[artridge']s Institution. I 
think M" Morse said that the Rev. M"^ Hulls son 22 was 
coming with M"" Servoss to join the Academy. . . . 

Thur^ [June] 2P*. . . . Yest^ I rec'' a letter from 
Judge Bayard mentioning that my old friend Major M*^- 
Machen died last Sunday, he was the oldest inhabitant 
of Princeton. When I left my studies in 1776, to go & 
fight the British, as we used to call it, Andrew M*"- 
Machen helped fit me out, to run balls & make cartridges 
& to arrange my knapsack & blanket. I look back at 
this frosty period of life with some astonishment on the 
ardour & enterprize of youthful days. Void alike of all 
forethought & prudence, I ought to have stuck to it, but 
I had neither money nor friends to support & counte- 
nance me. I know that my pride w*^ have sustained me 
in danger, until if spared, habit w^ have rendered it fa- 
miliar. I behaved better on the expedition than many 
who afterwards turned out brave soldiers. But all is 

22 James Hull, of New Orleans, a cadet at the Academy at Middle- 
town, 1827-28. Dodge and Ellis, Norwich University, IH, 622. 


right & altho too late to regret, I always feel indignant 
at the chance I lost to distinguish myself. . . . 

Sat^ [June] 23'^. Remarkably cold for the season. 
An unfounded report of the sudden death of Gov. Clinton 
excited anxiety yest^. It arose from his having been in- 
disposed, but he has perfectly recovered. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Brig Dolphin 

New York, Monday 25*'" June, 1827. 

Wed^ [June] 27*\ Rainy & cool. I have just dis- 
charged a debt that I owed the "Infant School Society," 
establishing in this city, by drawing up an article to at- 
tract public notice to this praiseworthy association. It 
required but the effort, & it is probably happily executed 
& will appear tomorrow. The So[ciety] is to meet in the 
aft. noon & as a member for life ($15) I propose to at- 
tend, perhaps it may be in my power to suggest some use- 
ful hint, w*" is all I can do except contributing my mite. 
A similar institution is going forward in Phil^ upon the 
plan of those already in successful operation in England, 
so that it is not a doubtful experiment. It affords me 
pleasure to be an instrument of good in any way, but 
really I abhor writing except to my beloved daughter. 
. . . I look back with satisfaction on the services that 
I rendered, this time 7 years ago, in writing up, as I have 
been often complimented, the Savings Bank. For 6 
months, weekly, I threw off a paragraph, & it required 
some ingenuity to preach for such a length of time from 
one text, without repetition & with an air of originality. 

Thur^ [June] 28*^ 

Tomorrow I shall attend the 5*'' An[nual] Commence- 
ment of our TheoP Seminary. I shall do so from a high 
sense of duty, altho greatly to my discomfort, to be 
obliged to set in a pew 4 or 5 hours without hearing a 
single word that is said. Were this a Presbyterian Insti- 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 361 

tution, S* John's Church w*^ be overflowing. But Epis- 
copalians in this city, I regret to say, take very little in- 
terest in these exhibitions, much to the mortification of 
the students, who are sensible of this cold neglect. 

Sat^ SO*"^ June. No Tennessee. This is the first in- 
stance of the failure of the packet line from N[ew] 
0[rleans]. . . . Yest^ I attended as allotted the Epis. 
Sem^ Commencem* & was gratified to see so large an 
auditory, principally females, as usual in this busy city, 
I did not join the procession, but took ray seat in the 
side aisle to retreat without notice, when I sh'^ get tired. 
I staid about 2 hours, long enough for a deaf man, not 
hearing a single word. The performances appeared very 
lifeless, for our young men are devoid of all animation & 
read their exercises. This may be right but it appears 
otherwise to me. Bp. White of Phil^ presided. He sets 
a very laudable example to his juniors in coming at his 
advanced age (above 80) on these occasions. ... I re- 
garded his venerable figure in Church with some emotion, 
probably for the last time, for he is very feeble. . . . 

Monday, 2*^ July 

Yest'' Sister went to Church & joined in the Com- 
munion. We had Bp. Hobart, who ordained 5 of the stu- 
dents of the Sem^ who commenced on Friday. It was 
quite a solemn service. On Sat^ I had the heaviest day 
in our Savings Bank that we ever had. We took in from 
293 Depositors, $26,226.47 & paid to 48, $2531.7 this was 
serving 341 Customers in 3i/4 hours. I did not leave the 
Bank till 8 p. m., from 4. It was intemperately hot & 
the Room crowded the whole time to excess. You may 
judge of the wonderful adroitness & despatch of our offi- 
cers, when we served so many persons in less than a min- 
ute each on an average. . . . 

N York, Sat=^ 7^^^ July, 1827 

.... I sent a letter today, to gratify the Rev. M'^ 
Hull with the pleasing intelligence of his sons safe ar- 
rival at Quarantine, on the ev^ of the 4*^ & at our house 


yest[erda]y. He is really a very modest amiable youth 
of pure mind & morals, & like all your southerns of keen 
observation & justness of remark. . . . 

Monday [July] 9^^. ... It rained all day yest[er- 
da]y. James [Hull] accompanied me to Church to re- 
turn thanks for his safe arrival, but he staid home to 
write his father in the aft. noon. Arthur attended him to 
see the sights on Sat[urda]y & tomorrow I will put him 
safe on b[oar]d the St[eam]boat for Middletown . . . 

Wed^ [July] ir\ Yest^ Master James embarked at 

5 p. m. & is by this hour (11) chatting with his young 
friends who no doubt greeted him on landing. . . . 

Friday 12*^ [sic for July IS*"^]. Fine day. Our folks 
are all on the way to Bath. Mother Sister, M""^ Shrieves 

6 children in the Hack, Mary Ann & luggage go in the 
Stage. I saw them safe ab[oar]d the Ferry boat. The 
change of air is essential for Pintard, & will be beneficial 
to all. . . . Mother is so accustomed to N. Utretcht sea 
air, & so accommodating an inmate that M""^ Brown ^^ 
is always delighted to see her & to render her stay agree- 
able, so that with respect to quarters everything is de- 
lightful & ought to be for $6 a week. . . . 
[Addressed:] P"" post, via Mobile 

New York, Friday 20*^ July, 1827 

My letter of this date by the Tennessee was hastily 
[written] in consequence of being obliged to write to 
Mother at the same inst. to go by the 10 o'clock stage. 
I c*^ just say that I had the pleasure of seeing M'^ Bab- 
cock & Sister 24 yest^ aft.noon at M" Palmers. M" B. 

23 Wife of William Brown, proprietor of the "Bath House L. Island," 
whose advertisements for it appear in the (N. Y.) Commercial Ad- 
vertiser, June 27, 1826, and June 16, 1827. 

2* Mrs. Henry Babcock (Anna Smith), and her sister Frances Smith, 
daughters of John Witherspoon and Sarah Henrietta (Duer) Smith. 
Mrs. William R. Palmer (Nancy Bell Babcock), of New York City, was 
Henry' Babcock's sister. Mrs. J. K. Van Rensselaer, New Yorkers of 
the XIX Century (1897), p. 16; Stephen Babcock, Babcock Genealogy 
(1903), p. 127. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 363 

is a delicate pretty lady, thin but not emaciated by nurs- 
ing her stout babe, w" is very fat & hearty. Miss Fran- 
ces is handsome a fine eye w" they inherit from their 
g[ran]dfather -^ & have much of the Smith in their coun- 
tenance. They have been careful of their complexions on 
the pas [s] age w*" are as fair as any of our northern 
ladies. . . . M''^ Schenck goes over to Bath to see whether 
she can get accommod[ation]s for a week or two w"" will 
make quite a family party for sister. M"" Schenck will 
attend the arrival of M"" Servoss, w** I am incapable of 
doing being absolutely chained to my office, as my pres- 
[idenjt M'" Furman has gone to Lebanon for all next 
week so that with my duty in Wall S* & attendance at the 
Savings Bank my hours are all engaged without the pos- 
sibility of being absent for even 3 hours, much less a 
day. ... 

Friday [July] 27*^. What with writing to M"" Servoss 
to meet him at Quarantine & to Mother at Bath, my time 
was filled up yest^. I am thinking to defer despatching 
this letter until 1^* Aug* in hopes to announce the arrival 
of y"" brother. At his request, I called on M"" Babcock 
yest^ p. m. to inform him of the critical state of young 
John Smith, But the whole party has gone to Stoning- 
ton, to pass no doubt the warm weather. I also wrote 
yest^ to the Cadets by Cap*^ Partridge who called on me. 
He says that the Academy is very tranquil, nothing of 
disturbance having occurred since the Row last winter. 
He says that Pintard studies very hard, not being so 
prompt in acquiring his lessons as his brother, that young 
Hull is very far & well advanced in the classics & is apply- 
ing diligently to the Mathematics, & that he rooms with 
his cousin. The examination is to take place on Monday 
IB**" Aug* & to continue a fortnight. . . . M"" Parker of 
[Perth] Amboy had a very fine son -^ older than our 
youths with Cap* P[artridge] 4 Years, who is now an 

25 Samuel Stanhope Smith (1750-1819) of Princeton. 

26 William Parker (1807-1868), son of James Parker, was a student at 
Partridge's Military Academy, 1822-1825. Dodge and Ellis, Norwich 
University, II, 188. 


Engineer on the Morris Canal. Instead of being unquali- 
fied by his military tactics for civil pursuits, M"" Parker 
observed that in point of regularity & strict behaviour 
he was as well qualified for the ministry as an Engineer. 

Monday 30*'' July. Thank God the Illinois has at 
length arrived, a favourable passage of 21 d[ays] all 
things considered. M"" Schenck has gone down & may 
possibly return with y"" letters before closing this. . . . 
I hope that M' Schenck may come back before closing 
this, a little before 2. If not I shall despatch it as you 
will be happy to hear as soon as possible of y" brothers 
safe arrival. His cotton will meet a profit as far as I 
can understand, w^ will compensate him for his long ab- 
sence. On Saturday I rec*^ a very kind invitation from 
M' Sigourney to attend the Commencement of Washing- 
ton College, at Hartford on Thur'' next, to w^ I was 
obliged to return a reluctant negative. . . . My friend 
M' Furman has returned & I shall arrange with him my 
leave of absence. He has been to Lebanon Springs & 
speaks highly of the comfort he has enjoyed, but an ab- 
sence of only one week has not been of much benefit to 
his health. . . . 

[Addressed:] P*" post via Mobile 

New York, Wed^ P* Aug* 1827. 9 a. m. 

My last of 30*'' by mail, informed you of the safe ar- 
rival of the Illinois that morn^. M"* S[ervoss] with his 
baggage went from the Quarantine & reached Bath at 4 
p. m. This day at 12, he is privileged to come to the 
City. He is now waiting at Brooklyn for the purpose. 

Friday 3*^ Aug*. Thank you my beloved daughter for 
your letter of 16*'' July by the Frances rec*^ this minute, 
9 a. m. Amidst all your cares & fatigue preparatory to 
moving, to spare time to write to y"" good brother & 
father is a proof were any wanting of your love & affec- 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 365 

tion. What a Rus in Urbe, what a beautiful paradise 
your kind partner has procured for you, in w*" by this 
time I hope you are comfortably settled, & what a change 
you will experience between your Beau sejour & the 
Chateau des Rats in which you have so long resided, 
where so many of y"" dear children first saw the light, & 
where you have passed many happy days, & where your 
dear sister was united to her excellent husband. . . . 

We enjoy a full share of your steaming weather, so nec- 
ess^ to ripening Indian corn, a great staple, esp'' of our 
eastern country. What are we to do when all the interior 
country along the course of the canals, arising in every 
quarter, shall be cultivated & the wilderness turned into 
arable land. The establishment of manufactures will 
give employment to redundant hands & afford consump- 
tion for the crops of the husbandmen as well as demand 
for wool & raw materials. My mind is pretty well made 
up, that a moderated Tariff is essential to the prosperity 
of our country. I see not how surplus capital can other- 
wise be employed. As to taxing the South for the benefit 
of the North, it is all nonsense. The same outcry was 
made against protecting cotton manufacturers, w** now 
[sentence unfinished] 

Sat'' 4^*" 2 o'clock. . . . My little man ^^ has been re- 
stored by the use of Blackberry Jelly, w*" y"" Sister luckily 
prepared last year, & is considered & proved to be an in- 
valuable remedy for bowel complaints in children. M' 
S[ervoss] says that it [is] also in general use with you. 
He made a favourable sale of his whole cargo of Cotton & 
Tobacco yest^ so that this is off of his mind. . . . 

Friday [August] lO**". Your brother staid in town 
last ev^ & I have fixed the locality of Beausejour, 54 feet 
front, 170 feet deep, a noble lot, & near y'" friends M" 
Smith & M" Linton, & nearer to M^^ Chew. That God 
may bless & prosper you & grant you many years of com- 
fort in y'' new residence is my fervent prayer. 

27 His grandson, John Pintard Servoss. 


N York, Friday 10*'' Aug* 1827 11/2 p. m. 

... I propose crossing over to Bath this aft.noon & 
staying till Monday morn^. M"" Servoss has just called 
to say that the Louisiana has arrived & Arthur has gone 
to Cap* Holmes for letters. None, neither at post office 
nor Capt. H^ 2 passengers have died on the voyage & 
the Cap* is sick. M"" S. says that M' Holleyr^ formerly 
pres* of TransyW College had died in y"" city. Lord have 
mercy on him. N[ew] 0[rleans] is favoured by the de- 
cease of this avowed Infidel. . . . 

Monday [August] 13*^ After a delightful visit I 
have returned from Bath, where I left dear mother much 
recruited. . . . Except Mother, the whole party returns 
next Friday after 5 weeks absence. . . . M' S[ervoss] & 
ship baggage come home this aft.noon, when I shall be 
absent, to attend the Funeral of an old family friend, M'" 
James H. Maxwell, who died on Sat^ aged 71 years. He 
led a singularly inert life for a length of time, lying abed 
till near noon, taking an evening loiter occasionally, tho 
not intemperate, indulging in brandy & water, reading 
novels & sitting up late at night. A dull unvaried rou- 
tine. Strictly moral, but never frequented Church. His 
father 2^ was my most excellent friend and mentor, a 
strong minded intelligent man, by whose conversations I 
benefitted much, but thank God, escaped the powerful 
influence of his scepticism. Men of vigorous intellect are 
too prone to disregard Religion because they dislike what 
they consider cant & too frequently Hypocrisy. I look 
back with gratitude to my Maker, for having escaped 
the contagion of evil associations. I mean as to Re- 
ligion, for altho' too convivial, I never was prone to vice. 
I owe much very much to my excellent friend Judge 
Boudinot, altho his piety was tinged with bigotry & 
severity. Yet still it was sincere & he made every allow- 
ance for my waywardness, till finally like the Bsereans 

28 Rev. Horace Holley died on board the Louisiana at sea. (N. Y.) 
Commercial Advertiser, Aug. 10, 1827; Dictionary of American Biog- 
raphy, IX, 149. 

29 William Maxwell. Wm. M. MacBean, Biographical Register of 
Saint Andrew's Society of the State of New York (1922), I, 138, 176-77. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 367 

searching the Scriptures to see if ''these things were so" 
I became, much to his gratification, a sincere avowed 
believer, tho' I c'' not subscribe to Presbyterianism. He 
wanted a little more liberality, but he was truly a devout 
Xt° & I respect & revere his memory. 

[Addressed:] P' mail via Mobile 

New York, Wed^ 22^1 Aug*, 1827 

. . . This I expected w*^ have been commenced at 
Middletown. My visit had been delayed in consequence 
of indisposition. . . . My intention to have gone yest'' 
p. m. was frustrated by one of those sudden melancholy 
events, w" befall us at every stage of existence. My 
much esteemed Rector the Rev. M"" Duffie died 20*" inst. 
after an illness of 9 days of bilious fever, in his 38*'' year. 
He was buried yest^ aft.noon & being among the eldest 
of his congreg'' I thot it a duty to attend, w" interfered 
with my leaving home & the St [earn] Boat does not go 
again until tomorrow. . . . M''S[ervoss] mentioned that 
he had y'" order to purchase a grate for the new House. I 
have selected a very handsome fashionable pattern w** 
will I hope please you. It is to be boxed this day, with 
a fender, dust pan, Brass Tongs, Shovel & poker to match, 
& I have ordered I doz. Fire brick, for placing in the back 
of the grate where the Fire reaches & w" if judiciously set 
in will last for years. There will also be added rotten 
stone for cleaning. . . . 

Thurs'' [August] 23*^. I am preparing to go at 5 in 
the McDonough & have put a large basket of melons & 
peaches on b^ & shall take another with your 2 pots of 
sweetmeats & 1 for Thomas to make me welcome. 

Middletown, Sat^ 25*" Aug. 9 a. m. I arrived here safe 
yesf" ^ p. 9 a. m. & took up my quarter at the Mansion 
House, just opened. On the wharf I found our 3 Cadets, 
with Davis & Hull, to welcome me & their baskets ashore. 
After securing a room we went up to the Academy, 
where I attended a mathematical examination, and in the 


afternoon the Spanish, in w'' y"" sons acquitted themselves 
very well. ... A Squad of 80 to 100 Cadets are to march 
to Niagara on the S"^ or 4*'' Sept^ They proceed by 
Steam from this to N York & Albany & from thence by 
the Canal, diverging to visit the towns in the vicinity. 
The trip will take from 3 to 4 weeks, depending on the 
weather. Pintard Hull & Davis go on the expedition. 
Marney is too small to stretch his short legs with the 
larger Cadets, altho' in most respects he is as big as the 
biggest in mind & improvement. This is to be the only 
vacation for the year. Marney is to go to Miss Tellers 
by his own desire. Thomas takes his leave of the Acad- 
emy. They both will come home with the expedition. 
. . . The Cadets give a Ball next Tuesday ev^ Subscrip- 
tion $3, dance & supper. I have consented that ours shall 
go, as I find by the list that the principal young gentle- 
men are subscribers. . . . 

I believe that I have not mentioned that there is to be 
great doings here on Monday & Tuesday. There is a 
new Infantry comp^ in N York called the Tompkins 
blues, w^ is to come up [for] the review. It has adopted 
a similar uniform to the Cadets. Of course they will 
contribute much to the splendor of the day. . . . 
[Addressed : ] per post 

Via Mobile 

New York, Tuesday 28*^ Aug*, 1827 

.... I overlooked in my last to mention that M' 
Babcock the elder informed me on going up that M""^ B. 
(Smith) had lost her fine babe at Stonington & was over- 
whelmed with grief. She & her sister Frances were to 
return to this city on Friday & are I presume at M'^ 
Palmers. . . . 

Thur'' [August] 30*''. Thomas & Marney arrived this 
morn^ in the same S'[eam] Boat with the Tompkins 
Blues & Miss Louisa Teller from Weathersfield on her 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 369 

visit home. M"" S[ervoss] proposes going to Fishkill next 
week when he will take the boys who are desirous to re- 
main until the Cadets pass thro' on their Western expe- 
dition. . . . 

Friday 3P* Aug*. The month must not conclude 
without closing this letter altho' I am somewhat urged. 
Nameless are the duties regular & extra. Cap* Stockton 
& Sam^ Bayard have just been with me on a deputation 
from Princeton to solicit subscript for building an Epis- 
copal Church in that Borough ! ! ! w** must be deferred 
till October. . . . Mother still remains at Bath, laying in 
a stock of health for next winter . . . Mother amuses 
herself with gleaning collections from the Boarders for 
the benefit of the N. Utrecht Miss[ionar]y Tract & Bible 
So[ciety]. She has gathered by her address & persever- 
ance rising $30. There is no situation but in w*" a person 
so disposed may be doing good. . . . 
[Addressed : ] p"" post 

via Mobile 

New York, Monday 3** Sept', 1827 

.... On Sat^ I crossed to Brooklyn with Marney & 
Thomas to see them on board the Bath Stage to visit 
their g^mama, when behold she returned unexpectedly, 
to my satisfaction & their disappointment. . . . To- 
morrow the Niagara Cadets are to be in town on their 
way up the Hudson. They are to be received by a Mili- 
tary escort of the 3*^ Reg* Tompkins Blues &ca. . . . 

Tuesday [September] 4*''. The Cadets were received 
by a very honourable military escort this morn^. I met 
them as I was coming down to my office at l^ p. 8 
marching up B'^way, a corps of Horse, Artillery, Tomp- 
kins Blues, N. Y. Cadets, 3^ Reg* Uniform companies, 
Artillery, Cap* Partridges Cadets, Field Officers. The 
whole a very handsome show & the Cadets appeared 
quite en militaire with packs on backs. . . . The Cadets 
do not appear fatigued probably they prudently stay 


home, to be refreshed for attending the grand Fireworks 
this ev^. I have just procured for Pintard "The North- 
ern Traveller countaining the Routes to Niagara, Que- 
bec and Springs, with the Tour of N. Eng'"' illustrated 
with Maps, & Views, in order that he may travel more 
intelligently. Tho' young he is capable of observation 
& I hope that this expedition will make a lasting im- 
pression on his mind & afford him a fine field for con- 
versation & description on his return home. What ad- 
vantages do my g'^children possess over my confined 
homekeeping days. I send for darling to amuse her soli- 
tary hours, Reuben Apsley, by the Author ^^ of Bram- 
bletye House, just out of the press. Do preserve these 
parlour window books for y' children in succession. I 
send no novels but such as are worth keeping. ... I 
have written to Miss Teller inclosing $15 to pay Mar- 
neys board. She promised me that she w^ receive the 
Cadets as boarders, without w" I told her that I c** not 
let them go. This is better than the weight of obliga- 
tion. . . . 

Wed^ [September] 5*^ 9 a. m. I left the Cadets pa- 
rading in the Park to go to the Steam boat at 10. Mar- 
ney & Thomas go as far as Newburgh, from whence 
they cross over to Fishkill & will be at Miss Tellers to 
tea. They were highly delighted with the Fireworks. 
Hull, Davis & McNeil came home with Pintard after 
having visited Governor's island, & dined i/o p. 4, when 
they joined their comrades at Masonic Hall, to go to 
Castle Garden. They bivouaced at the Hall, to keep to- 
gether. Marney & Thomas left home at 6 & after 
putting their bundles in the Steam boat ofiSce, went to 
breakfast with M" Schenck, as the distance was shorter 
to join the Cadets. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Brig Trent 

with a packet & Box 

30 Horace Smith. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 371 

New York, Wed^ b'"" Sept^ 1825 

Wed^ [September] 12*\ . . . Last Friday I met Aunt 
Betsey & her sister M" Brackenridge ^^ in the street, the 
latter looks very well & hearty, but her complexion has 
faded. She was in deep mourning. M"" Callender is at 
Princeton, far gone in a dropsy from w" it is presumed 
he cannot recover. Should he die, all four of Doctor 
Smiths daughters will be widows, somewhat singular, in 
one family. 

[Addressed:] p' post Via Mobile 

New York, Wed'' 19*^ Sept^ 1827. 1 p. m. 

. . . Yest^ the Equinoctial set in, pretty violent. The 
wind & rain are more moderate this day. . . . 

Friday 2P*. The first account about the Cadets is 
mentioned in the morning papers. . . . Thomas is to 
wait on his cousins 2 Miss Schencks who are to return 
this day, leaving Marney behind him, to stay as long as 
possible. . . . According to sisters instructions I an- 
swered M" Bradford, to come to dinner next Wed'' & to 
have the Christening on Thur'' ev^. She will invite the 
Schenck Family, M" & M" Wadsworth & Miss Fleming, 
relations of M"" S[ervoss], M"" & M"' Cruger (Kortright 
that was) & M" Livingston & M' & M" Hamilton 
(Knox) our neighbours, in all 14 besides the Rev. M' 
Eastburn & his lady, if in town, & my French Minister 
M. Verren. I forgot M^^ Bradford & Miss Martel, w'^ 
will make 18, our own folk 5, 23, a roomfuU. After the 
ceremony. Tea, Coffee & refreshments. I do not like 
this intermixing a solemn religious sacrament with social 
festivity, but there is no help as we have no minister to 
perform the service in Church. However the party are 

31 Mrs. Joseph Cabell Breckinridge (Mary Clay Smith), daughter of 
Samuel Stanhope Smith. (Alexander Brown, The Cabells and Their 
Kin (Richmond, Va., 1939), p. 534.) She was a sister of Mrs. John 
Marsden Pintard (Betsey Smith), and of Mrs. Thomas Callender. 


all related on either side, so that it will not be a pompous 
parade. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Azelia 

New York, Monday 22^ Oct., 1827 

. . . Yest'' after morn« Church Miss Chew & M" 
Morse called. I was in Mothers room, retired to pursue 
my Sunday readings w** are systematic with me. I was 
not called down w^ I regret. It was kind in M""^ Morse 
not to have stood on ceremony. She has never been in 
company with y' Mother before, but had seen her in the 
Street, & says she knew her from your Eliza's resem- 
blance of her g^^mother. But this remark may have 
proceeded from her courtesy to flatter an old lady. Eliza 
will be handsome indeed if she is as handsome as her 
g'^mother was at her age, for she was the Belle of 
NYork. . . . 

Wed^ [October] 24. Yest^ the Frances sailed with 
a fair wind, w*" is very fresh this day, M"" & M" Morse & 
son passengers. I am not sorry that the latter has left 
the Academy, he was no example for our Cadets, being 
too presumptions, partaking of his father, but this to 
ourselves. M""^ Morse is a very tender mother & I said 
all that c^ be said to palliate his irregularities. . . . 

Friday [October] 26^'*. On enquiring yest^ of your 
brother whether he had rec'* the order w^ you mentioned 
that you w*^ wish him to execute, as you observed in 
your last that you were about preparing to lay your 
carpet, he said that he presumed you wanted a set of 
mahogany chairs to be all of a piece with your new 
house. Delicacy may have withheld my beloved daugh- 
ter from intimating her desire. I begged y*" brother to 
be so kind as to go to the best cabinet makers & pur- 
chase a dozen fashionable mahogany Chairs, black horse 
hair bottoms, w*" he has done this morn^ from M"" Young 
who made your sisters furniture, & whose shop turns 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 373 

out the best work in the city. I have been to look at 
them, just as they were preparing to box them to be 
sent on board the Talma tomorrow morning & I have 
called at Cap* Holmes to have them stowed in a dry part 
of the ship. The chairs are of the very best quality & 
I think they will please, price $9, $108, 2 Boxes $4, 
make $112, the set, freight & insurance I shall pay be- 
sides, and I hope they will get safe to hand. It is best to 
insure in case of accident, altho at this season, there is 
very little hazard. . . . 

Sat^ morn^, 27*\ M"" Young has brought me the in- 
closed Bill lading the freight $10.13 I shall pay, taking 
rec* therefor, so that, except cartage to y' door, you will 
receive this unexpected present free of charges. . . . 
Last ev^ Sister gave a family party to M" Ab"* Schenck 
of Mattawan, when I say family I mean all of that fam- 
ily, y friends M"" & M''^ Palmer, after several former 
invitations, were present. M""^ P. is a very retired deli- 
cate lady & M"" P. from his breath must be unsound, w^ 
must be detrimental to his Wife. 

Monday [October] 29*^. I have got entangled as a 
Witness in a vexatious law suit set up by the pretended 
legal heirs of Robert R. Randall, who devised his estate 
to Trustees by the name of the Sailors Snug harbour, to 
provide for the support of 50 superannuated seamen, 
whenever the income shall be sufficient to defray the 
expense. A property of about 16 acres at the head of 
Broadway, has risen & is rising into great value, in con- 
sequence of the extension of the city, whereby the means 
of providing for 50 pensioners will soon be at command, 
except arising from legal subtilties & technicalities. The 
claimants, in my opinion, have no righteous pretensions, 
but the Law must determine. . . . 

Tuesday [October] SO**". ... I am still suspended 
on the Tenter hooks, waiting every moment to be sum- 
moned to court, but it is better being in my office than 
in Court, the Lawyers granting an old man the in- 
dulgence of waiting until he is sent for. The Vestry of 


my Church meet this afternoon. We are in a dilemma 
about M. Varren, who by a canon of the Gen. Conven- 
tion cannot be admitted to orders, until after a years 
residence in the Diocese where he is to settle. Hopes 
were entertained that a dispensation might have been 
obtained from the Bishops convened at Phil* last week, 
but they had no such power. The object now is that 
M. Varren sh'* go to Paris, where there is a Scotch 
Bishop, who on the recommendation of Bp, Hobart will 
ordain him. The expediency of this proposition is the 
purport of our meeting. Mother & Sister rode out yest^ 
to see Aunt Helen, who has just recovered from an in- 
termittent fever. M'' Craig & Davis have both also been 
ill. All the vicinage where they live has been afflicted 
with fever this autumn, owing to the excessive rains. 
Our weather is again mild but very variable. 

Wed^ [October] 3P*. Fine day. I have just given 
a line of introduction to Francis Tilly ou Esq. a lawyer 
of this city, who goes to N[ew] 0[rleans] by way of 
Pittsburgh for the benefit of his health. He may require 
advice w'' the Doctor will give to him as my friend, being 
a descendant of our old Huguenot families. . . . The 
Rectorship of St. Thomas has been given to M" De- 
lancey ^- of Phi^ son of Cap* Delancey of Ma[ma]ro- 
neck, his chief merit is being a topping high Church- 
man, his talents it is said are but plain, he is however 
very respectable as to family 

New York, Friday 9*'' Nov., 1827 

.... I sent off my letter ^^ of this date hastily just 
as I was going to attend court, not knowing of the Eliz*^ 
& Johns ^'^ sailing till I came down to the office. It was 
forwarded that you might know the worst, in case of any 
rumour that Jeremiah Thompson's failure w*^ affect y' 
brother. I showed him what I had written w'* he ap- 

32 William Heathcote Delancey, who declined the call. 
S3 The letter mentioned is not included in the collection owned by 
the New York Historical Society. 
34 Ship John and Elizabeth. 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 375 

proved. I forgot to request you not to mention the am* 
for w" he is implicated. Altho' the suspension of pay- 
ment, still the loss I trust will not be total. It may cur- 
tail M' S[ervoss]'s operations but will not I hope inter- 
fere with his com^ business. . . . Dear Sister acts with 
great prudence, sensible of the possible total loss, with- 
out affected levity or indifference. . . . For myself, tho' 
not heart broken, I am apparently more distressed in 
mind than M"" S., least the little gleam of sunshine that 
promised to gild the close of Mothers & my life, sh'^ be 
at last obscured. . . . 

Thurs'' [November] 15*". We had a most tremendous 
gale, yest^, at N. W which has done much damage to 
vessels along the north side of the city. In court yest^ 
about 21/2 o'clock, the eminent Tho^ Addis Emmet one of 
the counsel for the Trustees of the Sailors Snug Harbour, 
was struck with apoplexy without any previous intima- 
tion, being in conversation with a gentleman but a few 
moments before, he leaned his head on his hand, & when 
spoken to was speechless. The Court adjourned till 10 
this morn^. Medical aid was instantly afforded. He 
died at 11 o'clock last ev^. M"" E. was one of the Irish 
patriots & one of the most eminent lawyers in this city 
or the U. S. I was well acquainted [with] him. He 
was a gentleman in the highest sense of the word & uni- 
versally esteemed. He gave elevation to the character 
of the Bar of N York. He spoke with great exertion & 
energy on Monday in the Circuit Court in the case of 
John Jac. Astor ag* this State for a large Tract of land 
in Putnam County as Counsel for M"" A. His ext'' exer- 
tion may have induced this last attack. . . . 
[Addressed by:] Ship Tennessee 

with a small packet 

New York, Wed^ 2P* Nov., 1827 

. . . The great Sailors' Snug harbour cause will prob- 
ably go to the Jury this day. As the points at issue are 


altogether legal, it is difl&cult to say how it will termi- 
nate. All I know is that the Testator Robert Randall 
intended a bona fide Devise. 

Thur'' [November] 22''. Winter has prematurely set 
in, the Gutters all ice, & weather as cold as at Xmas. 
High winds & excessively dusty, a match for y" city. The 
Canal navigation closed last week, a fortnight earlier 
than usual to the great injury of the country trade. 
From the quantity of rain thro' the last season, there is 
every indication of a severe winter. Thank God all our 
Fuel was laid in seasonably. . . . The 2^ cause of the 
Sailor's Snug Harbour that went to the Jury yest'' was 
found in favour of the Trustees. A 3*^ Trial is coming on 
& I shall have to attend court again w*" is much against 
me for I have not quite recovered of my cold. By the 
new packet ship John Linton to sail this day, your 
brother was so kind as to write to you . . . 

Sat^ [November] 24 2 p. m. Thank God I hope that 
I have at last got rid of the Circuit Court after 3 weeks 
daily attendance, except the intermission of 2 days on 
ace* of M"" Emmets death & funeral. . . . 

Monday [November] 26**". The celebration of the 
evacuation, as the 25**' fell on Sunday. A beautiful day, 
but none except the survivors of those who took part in 
that day, 1783, can enter into the joy & feelings of our 
exiled citizens on that auspicious occasion, an event that 
consummated the Am. Revolution. Never can I forget 
the tears of joy that I shed as we paraded thro' the city 
from the Bowery to the old Fort, & saw the last of the 
British forces leaving the shore. I have before told you 
that when a very early & young member of our Cor- 
poration, it was at my instance that the day was cele- 
brated as being peculiarly appropriate to the city. For 
a few years past it has been intermitted, but is again 
revived, I hope never to be overlooked again. Forgotten 
it cannot be, for it is part of our national history. How 
much did this state & city especially suffer during the 
revolution. One day, if spared, I will trace true & in- 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 377 

teresting anecdotes respecting our exiles. I think that I 
could write a tolerable Waverley, out of these events, for 
certainly there were many romantic circumstances at- 
tending the revolution as well as deeds of chivalrous 

But let us chat about our own concerns. Dear 
g^mother sends by this oppo[rtunity] a beautiful pocket 
Bible, for each of her N[ew] 0[rleans] g'^children, in- 
scribed with her name, w^ I hope they will severally 
keep as a testimony of her love. The copies are of the 
1^* Edition of the pocket Bible printed by the A[meri- 
can] B[ible] S[ociety]. I had a dozen reserved in sheets 
all last year so as to bear being compactly bound. No 
pains have been spared to make them elegant & for their 
better preservation I have just ordered morocco cases, in 
w'* they can be kept when not used. . . . The beautiful 
octavo Bibles heretofore are invaluable, as being the 
most correct standard copy of the Scriptures printed in 
Engl[ish], great pains having been taken to render them 
perfect & exact copies of the earliest authorized version 
in the days of James P*. They ought therefore to [be] 
choicely used & preserved. 

Tuesday [November] 27, 1 p. m. I have obtained 
the Atlantic Souvenir for Darling & Taylors Holy Living 
& Dying, my souvenir for dear Mother. This inestima- 
ble work has been a Manual of Devotion in England, 
for nearly a century & a half, and my good old Uncle 
was much gratified with the copy I sent for him. My 
copy larger, is the 17*^ Ed[itio]n. This sent you is a 
new one, w^ shows how much regard is paid to this in- 
estimable work, w** I recommend earnestly to my be- 
loved daughters attentive study not perusal. . . . 

Wed^ [November] 28*'' ... I find that your young 
apprentice studies with D' Hosack. I sh*^ prefer Francis 
with whom sh^ Pintard persevere I wish him to study, 
as he takes infinite pains with his pupils & will do more 
for my sake. Remember this, sh*^ I not be here. I have 


a first letter this morn^ from Thomas. He does not like 
Jamaica & complains of his commons. . . . 

Thur^ [November] 29*'\ . . . M"" Bayard from 
Princeton is in town & dines with us today. He left 
Aunt Patty & Caroline well. He tells us that M' 
William Griffith, who married your young friend, is dead, 
the hope & stay of his good mother Cousin Abby who is 
with her daughter Mrs Cox[e] at Washington. . . . 

Friday [November] 30*''. ... I have just got the 
price of the Bibles, $3. each, & cases 75/100, $3.75. For- 
merly English & Scotch pocket Bibles not to compare in 
elegance, cost at least $5. I think that I sent Eliza a 
beautiful small Diamond type pocket Bible, some years 
ago w" cost $7. So that however costly these Bibles are 
much cheaper than c*^ be imported. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Louisiana 

with a Firkin [of butter] 
& package 

New York, Sat^ 1^* Dec, 182'; 

Tuesd^ 4*^. ... I am very happy to find, that you 
have such good domestic help, a comfort that sweetens 
every trial, while bad servants alloy every other comfort. 
Your sister also is favoured in this particular. She has 
an excellent nursery maid, a buxom Yankey lass, Pamela, 
who is fond of the children, & who took Pintard last 
Sunday aft.noon to a Methodist Church, for the first 
time, & he behaved like a little man. Our faithful Tamar 
who really saves her wages in the economy of the 
Kitchen, both as to food & fuel, Robert a coloured pious 
man, who asked me yesf" to procure for him, Cotterels 
prayers, w*" he knew not where to purchase, a copy of 
w'' I presented him this morn^, Mary Ann Mothers maid, 
daughter of Hannah, of N Rochelle, a smart, tidy &. 
every way useful girl, sews, makes pastry &c. as good as 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 379 

Sister. What excellent help, & with the prospect of con- 
tinuance. Robert is inestimable, modest, always busy, 
never idle, nor begrudging to turn his hand to any thing. 
He reads very well, & beguiles a vacant ev^ hour by 
reading Tracts to his fellow servants, so that we have an 
orderly house below. . . . 
[Addressed:] By Azelia 

New York, Monday lO**^ Dec^ 1827 

Thurs^ 13'^ Yest^ Wed^ 12^*^ was a Day of Thanks- 
giving appointed by the Governor, an excellent practice 
in the N. England states from their first settlement, 
But arbitrary here, as no provision is made either by 
Constitution or Law to be thankful to our Heavenly 
Father for all his infinite mercies, & great cause as a 
State & people have we to be grateful. ... I sincerely 
hope that Eliza has perfectly recovered & that she will 
be able to attend the great Jackson Ball in her new dress. 
It is to be got up no doubt in great splendor, & will 
probably be the most extravagant one that has ever 
taken place in y" extravagant city. Preparations are 
making I see by the papers for the accommodation of 
the great military Chieftain, whose planet here, is in 
the ascendant. But thank God, among its miseries, age 
has its privileges, exemption if wise, from political cabals 
& intrigues. The old Federalists, few in number, owe M"" 
Adams no good will for his apostacy, w^ has been re- 
warded, & his enmity to Gen. Hamilton. Nor is Jackson 
a favourite. My guess, however, is, that he will suc- 
ceed. . . . 

I send for Darling the last Waverley, Tales of the 
Conongate, in the preface to which Scott avows himself 
the Author. The present work does not detract from 
the character of this wonderful prolix Genius. His stores 
[of] invention & mind appear inexhaustible. To me 
these works are most delectable, & always beguile after 
fatigue of dry reading & restore the tone & vigour of 


my mind. Old people in many particulars resemble 
young, that of novel reading is one. Scotts are instruc- 
tive as well as pleasing. They serve to relax & beguile 
the cares as well as the ennui of existence. Do not 
throw them away, after perusal, at a future day, they 
will become new again, & they [will] serve to amuse 
a visiting friend when Mother & daughter are busied 
with domestic duties. ... I dwell on this subject a lit- 
tle, because Mothers do not incline to see their daughters 
fascinated with novel reading. But Scotts dramatic His- 
torical novels are an exception & transcend all praise. 
You think me an Enthusiast, possibly in plain English 
a dotard, perhaps a Fool. So be it. May I never do 
worse than read the standard English novels of the last 
& present age, but I am not indiscriminate in my reading, 
rather fastidious, than otherwise. But wearied & worn 
down, these works are greater restorative & more whole- 
some & innocent than a bottle or cards. There must be 
something to fill up the blank of life, & happy they who 
with their Bible & Books never want companions. . . . 
Friday [December] 14*''. Indian summer, mild as 
April. Dense Fog & hoar frost this morn^. Your brother 
is engaged in fixing a Fire Range to burn Schuylkill Coal 
in the Kitchen, after being successfully introduced in 
some families. It is very economical & prevents smoke. 
... I send you 8 copies of our new cheap Sunday School 
Test [amen] t @ 121/0 C*^ $1, w'' has been published at 
the lowest possible rate. The demand exceeds the power 
of supply at present, but we shall get ahead in the 
Winter, as also with Bibles. It is quite animating to 
hear read the correspondence of our Auxiliaries, who are 
engaging in the glorious work of supplying all the des- 
titute of their respective counties with the Scrip- 
tures. . . . 

[Addressed by ship:] Kentucky 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 381 

New York, Monday, 17'^ Dec^ 1827 

.... I commence this letter with gratitude to God 
for the glorious news, rec*^ from Greece of the total an- 
nihilation of the Turkish & Egyptian Fleets, by those of 
the Allied powers of Eng*^ France & Russia. At length 
Christendom is aroused & I hope that the Sword will 
not be sheathed until the Freedom & Independence of 
Greece be placed on a permanent basis. The blood of 
the enslaved Greeks has long cried aloud for vengeance, 
w^ tho' tardily has been signally inflicted. The Lord be 
praised. The friends of Greece throughout the world will 
rejoice. May that long oppressed & barbarously afflicted 
nation be endowed with wisdom from Above, to choose 
a sober well organized form of government. Here is the 
difficulty, as is proved in the instance of Spanish Amer- 
ica. How soon did the U States settle down, after its 
struggle for Independence, in the present wise efficient 
government. But the British Colonies had been long 
instructed & prepared for self government, a hard lesson 
for young nations. May Greece look up to & profit from 
our example. I cannot express how my whole soul has 
been engaged in the cause of now please God, emanci- 
pated Greece. I had & have great confidence in their 
final delivery, for the Scriptures must be fulfilled, & 
the downfall of the Turkish empire & expulsion from 
Europe, is part of the fulfilment of prophecy in which 
I firmly believe, as likewise in the Reformation of the 
Rom. Catholic Religion. The wide spreading scripture. 
Missionaries, Sunday Schools with all the great move- 
ments of the moral & Religious world, all tend to demon- 
strate the truth of Divine Revelation, and y' children 
my beloved daughter may live to see the knowledge of 
the Scriptures diffused over all quarters of the 

Tuesday [December] IS***. ... It requires something 
more of Dutch habits than are generally prevalent with 
you, to enter into the spirit & observance of S* Claus 
day, but do you keep it to the joy of y'" bantlings. Soft 


wafles are a treat for the grown up, w'' Sister occasionally 
affords us. I think she says that you regale y"" friends 
with them also. This is a true N York treat, derived 
from our Dutch forefathers, w" however was universal 
before the Revolution, that with the decay of the old 
customs broke down many of our antient usages, all of 
w" were of the festive kind. New Year was a most 
boisterous, & when manners were simpler & this city but 
an overgrown Village, began at Midnight, Drums beating 
Firing of Guns, huzzas, & calling at friendly doors, to 
congratulate the family & get a New Years dram & 
cookey. Visits still kept up were made after Church, 
but cookies begin to disappear, & altho the dram & hot 
punch appear on the sideboard, it is more for parade 
than use for few partake. Indeed since staggering thro' 
the streets on New Years day is out of fashion, it is im- 
possible to drink drams at every house as of old. Chil- 
dren were universally sent to visit the family relations, 
w** served to keep up acquaintance with kindred 
branches. The remotest, were all Uncles, Aunts & 
Cousins on that jovial day. Well do I recollect coming 
home loaded with sixpences (a great sum) & honey 
cookies, enough to last for months. Grace, my female 
servant whom my Mother left me, used to a pillow-bier, 
on these occasions, w** by the time our rounds were per- 
formed, was as much as she could tug. . . . 

Wed'^ [December] 19*^. Fair weather, thank God, it 
has cleared off mild, after a long spell of incessant rain. 
A very unusual Winter thus far. Violent cattarhs & sore 
throats prevail. My own, with Mothers attentive care 
is better. We are attempting to instigate subscriptions 
for the relief of the distressed Greek females & children, 
as last year, but I fear that the unparralled victory of 
Navar[i]no instead of enlivening will chill sympathy. 
Let us hope for the best. The glorious result of the en- 
gagement, w^ it is trusted will annihilate the naval power 
of the Turks, will not mitigate the extreme necessities of 
the poor Greeks, whose miserable state has been rend- 

TO HIS DAUGHTER, 1827 383 

ered extreme by the recent barbarities of Ibrahim pasha. 
May he & his army be captured in the Morea. Indeed 
I do not see how they are to escape, except by capitula- 
tion. You may reasonably suppose that this subject is 
very near my heart, one w^ I have watched with almost 
parental feeling, from its birth. May I be spared to 
learn its final happy consummation. I will send here- 
with the Daily Adver[tise]r of this day, containing a 
Diagram of the Bay, w** will illustrate the action. It is 
remarkable that the news of the Battle fought on the 
20 Octo*" reached us on the 16*'' inst in the short space 
of 57 days. The Winds of Heaven favoured the rapid 
transmission of this glorious event. Miserable Austria, 
how crestfallen for being the only Xt" power that lent its 
aid to Barbarians ag* oppressed fellow Christians. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Russell 

N York, Sat^ 22'^ Dec' 1827. 2 p. m. 

Monday [December] 24***. . . . Doctor Hosack called 
between Churches. Some angry words that had passed 
between him & D' Watts, rivals from days of old, called 
for an explanation, which D'^ W. satisfactorily gave re- 
tracting what he uttered in an unguarded moment of 
excitement. This was honourable & so the anticipated 
calling out, w'' made some noise, ended. Doctors are 
an irritable race, & my friend D'" H. is not the most 
guarded in his remarks. By the way, the Doctors pupil 
has never called as invited, since presenting his letter of 
introduction. He studies with D' Hosack. The Rutgers 
College is getting into some difficulty, since passing the 
late budget of Laws, w'" infringes the right of conferring 
degrees. The Law will be contested as post facto & un- 
constitutional. It keeps the College in hot water. It 
must be a powerful Law that Hosack cannot creep 


Wed'' 26^*' Dec^ We had a mild day yest^ for Christ- 
mas, w*" permitted Sister & Mother to attend the Com- 
munion at S* Thomas' Ch[urch]. A collection was made 
for the benefit of our Sunday School. Besides our usual 
contributions, Mother presented a doz[en] Testaments 
such as those sent you, as her Xmas gift. She has like- 
wise given to the 2 daughters & son of the late M"" Duffie, 
a pocket Bible, elegantly bound, but not quite as high 
finished as those sent for our g[ran]dchild[re]n. . . . 
We had S* Claas in high snuff yest^. Pintard [Servoss] 
entered quite into the spirit of the day. Among other 
Bon bons were sugar Turnips, Carrots, &ca. 

Monday [December] 31^*. 9 A. M. The Talma has 
arrived & I look for letters. I find by M' Servoss' letters 
from his correspondents that much solicitude has been 
expressed in N[ew] 0[rleans] with some aggravation of 
his loss by the failure of Jer[emia]h Thomson. He finds 
warm hearted friends & confidence in M"" Wright, M"" 
Oakey & Sheldon. Prosperity makes friends, adversity 
tries them. The envious rejoice the sincere sympathize. 
Thank God altho' the loss $20,000 sh<^ prove total, it will 
not derange your good brothers business nor pros- 
pects. . . . 

[Addressed by:] Ship Illinois